Governor Rauner's 2019 budget raising questions even among Repub - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Governor Rauner's 2019 budget raising questions even among Republican Party members

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Local school districts , state colleges and universities would pay more of their teacher retirement and healthcare costs under the governor's 2019 budget proposal

"In our system the state gets pension bills and just pays the tab.  Our budget proposal shifts costs closer to home so people can question the expenses and deal with them more directly," Rauner said.
Two weeks ago Rauner promised to balance his budget proposal.   But some legislators question whether or not his structural reforms like workers comp overhaul and cutting health insurance benefits for state workers will do it.

"What he's proposing is something doable but it's predicated on reforms and reforms that have met with resentment in the Illinois legislature which will make the budget process difficult," said Bloomington area State Representative Dan Brady.

"Before all the school districts in my district call me this is not gonna fly we're not gonna take and just dump the whole pension burden back on schools without giving you any way of paying for it.  what it forces you to do is either raise property taxes or fire teachers," said Peoria Senator Dave Koehler. 

Some members of Rauner's own party are questioning whether or not the pension costs shift to local schools will work. 

"I give him credit for focusing in on the pension problem because that's eating us alive financially.  I'm concerned about the shift how it works.  There were no details laid out," said Morton State Representative Keith Sommer.

"The school districts who are incurring these costs through their payroll salaries are then shifting those costs to the state.  So the governor's proposing they keep them at home.  The policy impact is that school districts will now think differently about how they're going to compensate their employees," said Bloomington State Senator Jason Barickman.

Budget talks are expected to be contentious again.  Last year nearly a dozen Republican legislators broke ranks with Governor Rauner when they voted to override his veto of an income tax hike.

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