SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Senate Democrats are critiquing the budget-cutting prowess of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s cabinet. Committee chairmen decried Thursday the performance of agency heads who declined to specify in committee hearings this week where they could cut spending to balance the budget. In a state Capitol news conference, the Democrats flashed a board entitled: “Budget Cuts Offered by Bruce Rauner’s Agency Bosses: $0.00.”
They grilled the agency chiefs after Republican Rauner announced opposition to the Senate’s “grand bargain” budget compromise last week. Democrats canceled votes on key pieces like an income-tax increase and Rauner’s coveted property-tax freeze. Republican Sens. Jason Barickman of Bloomington and Dave Syverson (SEE’-vur-sun) of Rockford followed the Democrats’ presentation. They say the GOP is willing to negotiate and that there’s still compromise and collegiality in the Senate.