Rauner happy with budget progress

Rauner happy with budget progress

Bruce RaunerJOLIET– It took him longer than he wanted, but Gov. Bruce Rauner is satisfied with the agreement to address the shortfall in the current budget.

At an event in Joliet Friday, Rauner was asked by the operator of a preschool when she could expect the state to catch up on payments in its child care assistance program. Rauner promised it would happen quickly thanks to the budget solutions he signed on Thursday, and apologized for the delay in coming to an agreement.

“Democracy is, it doesn’t move at the speed of light, and I apologize. If it were me in business, I would’ve gotten them in a room and hey, we’re going to call (and order) cold pizza, we’re not leaving this room until this done. But that’s not how it works,” Rauner said.

The state comptroller said in a statement she’s “working closely with the Department of Human Services to expedite payments,” to child care providers.

The fact an agreement was reached gives Rauner hope for negotiations over next year’s budget, saying he thinks the days where legislative leaders and the governor didn’t communicate are over.

Most of the money to plug the $1.6 billion budget hole will come from sweeping dedicated state funds, along with a nearly across-the-board 2.25 percent cut.