Illinois Republicans: Let us cut the budget

April 4, 2011

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Illinois Republicans say they don't trust Governor Pat Quinn to cut the state budget, so they're hoping legislators can do it themselves for 2010.

The Illinois General Assembly has sent the governor lump sum budgets for the past two years. That means it was up to the governor to decide how state money is spent.

But Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said Quinn's poor management has legislators wanting to allocate the money themselves for the next budget cycle.

"There's been a cumulative realization that we are headed off a cliff, Radogno told reporters Monday. "And frankly, the plan that the governor put out there has us running right over it very quickly."

Meanwhile, Republican House Minority Leader Tom Cross says he's working with Democrats on a spending plan that largely ignores Quinn's recommendations.

"The political hats are off," Cross said. "And we've got a real problem. We've got a problem on spending, a problem with an unbalanced budget, a pension problem, a retiree health care problem.  And it's gonna take all four caucuses working together."

Cross says he thinks some Democratic lawmakers are now willing to make cuts themselves as political cover for having passed an income tax hike.

In February, Quinn proposed a line-item state budget that aimed to save money by consolidating school districts and rewriting the state tax code, among other suggestions.  

In a statement, Quinn's office said legislators have passed the tough budget decisions to him for the past two years. But a spokeswoman said the governor is looking forward to working with lawmakers to pass a line-item budget for 2012.