Illinois governor signals move to right after budget defeat

Illinois governor signals move to right after budget defeat

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By SARA BURNETT and SOPHIA TAREEN
Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is hardening his anti-tax stance as he readies a re-election bid following a major legislative defeat.

Rauner is replacing key staff with leaders of a conservative group that recently criticized him for even considering a tax hike to end a budget impasse.

Rauner's new chief of staff and a top policy aide, among others, come from the Illinois Policy Institute. The group has advocated slashing Medicaid and mass layoffs of state workers.

Democrats looking to unseat Rauner in 2018 say the moves should alarm voters in Illinois, where lawmakers' inability to agree on a budget led to deep cuts and $15 billion in unpaid bills.

Some in the GOP say Rauner is shoring up support from a political base he'll need in an off-year election.

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