SPRINGFIELD–Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley on passage of an Illinois budget:
“At long last and after too much damage, the General Assembly displayed political courage today by taking the tough votes and making the hard compromises that are a part of governing. Nothing is perfect, but now there is a proposed budget in place that Gov. Bruce Rauner MUST sign to end this part of the nightmare that has been his term in office.
“We are grateful for the leaders from both parties and both houses who stood up for seniors, for child care, for education and the social safety net in Illinois that has been subject to slow-motion destruction under this governor.
“But let’s be honest. Much of the damage has been done since Rauner insisted on the dangerous precedent of binding the budget process to non-budgetary items. For leading Illinois out of the morass of Rauner’s political demands, the General Assembly deserves credit, since many now will be targeted by Rauner’s well-funded and mercenary political operation. We’ll stand with these champions just as they stood up for the welfare of Illinois.
“No such credit is due to the architect of this mess: Bruce Rauner did not create the structural problems facing Illinois, but there can be NO question he made the difficulties facing our state and our most vulnerable immeasurably worse.
“The BAD news today is that we went an more than two years without a budget. The GOOD news is that, in a little more than a year, Illinois can chart a new path and ensure this moment is NEVER repeated, by electing a new governor.”