Educators up in arms over Rauner’s question on budget cuts

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Report & distort?

Hey, did someone slip overalls in Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner’s chowder?

◆ To wit: Rauner, whose election rhetoric pledged to enhance education statewide, has educators up in arms after news broke this week that he asked the Illinois Board of Higher Education to tell public universities to be ready to present a plan to trim 20 percent from their next budgets to offset revenue that would be lost if the temporary state income tax increase is lowered Jan. 1.



So how’s that going to work? 

◆ To wit: It’s a safe bet there is no way to cut 20 percent without crippling aid to education.

◆ Nitpick? Mike Schrimpf, Rauner’s spokesman, told the Associated Press that state agencies were asked only to “be prepared to talk about” budgets with the cuts “as a starting point.” He claims: “This was purely a fact-gathering process. This was not some kind of edict. . . . They were not told that this would be their budget.”

◆ Sneedless to say, Gov. Pat Quinn and his staff will be reluctant to cut or decimate education and other programs for the benefit of the incoming governor. 

Quinn has already reduced the number of state employees by thousands since taking office — and he would have to further decrease the ability of the State Police, Department of Transportation, prisons and other vital services to execute their already trimmed operations.

Running for office and governing: a big difference.


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