The Illinois Budget Crisis Has Publicly Pitted The Governor Against His Wife
For two years, Illinois has been embroiled in an unresolved battle over its state budget. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has deemed the current budget compromise a “disaster” and has continued to veto proposals from the legislature, which is held by a Democratic majority.
The crisis over the state’s budget and the seemingly interminable duration of the fight led to missed payments by the government, which in turn led to lower credit ratings, leading many to believe the state would default on its outstanding obligations. During the controversy, one champion of the opportunity to override Governor Rauner’s veto had a higher profile than most.
It was the governor’s wife, Diana Rauner.
The Ounce of Prevention Fund, a childhood education foundation run by Diana Rauner issued a statement alongside another group, Illinois Action for Children, compelling lawmakers to do everything they can to override her husband's veto in no uncertain words. "We strongly urge the House of Representatives to now follow the Senate in voting to override the governor's veto," the statement reads.
Conversely, the governor publicly stated on Wednesday, "This is not just a slap in the face of Illinois taxpayers, this is a two-by-four smacked across the forehead of the people of Illinois."
Diana Rauner is certainly not alone, especially among social progressives, in challenging the governor’s stance, but her outspoken criticism of his actions has certainly raised eyebrows.
As for the strife her dissent has caused the couple on a personal level, the governor’s office has thus far refused to comment on the statements issued.
On Thursday, Illinois lawmakers successfully overrode the governor’s veto, getting the exact number of votes needed to accomplish their goal. For the first time in several years, there’s hope for schools, social programs, and stakeholders, such as Diana Rauner, that the mounting problems over the past two years can now be addressed in a formal budget.
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