Editorial: Rauner blames schools, still no budget

Staff Editorial

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Gov. Bruce Rauner has said public Illinois universities need to be more accountable in their spending.

This is ironic considering Rauner has failed to pass a state budget as Illinois is nearing almost seven full months without a budget.

Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called out Rauner on his lack of approving a state budget far past a due date.

More recently, Rauner’s office sent out a memo explaining the spending policies of some Illinois universities, including Eastern.

The memo discusses university spending that occurred years ago, and while Rauner blames the university, he has failed to produce any solution to help the situation aside from failing to have a state budget. In fact, the memo did not even come from Rauner himself. He chose to speak through a surrogate, in this case, the surrogate ended up being Richard Goldberg, the deputy chief of staff.

What Rauner and the rest of the state government in Springfield do not seem to realize is how the lack of a state budget is not only affecting the public institutions, but every single student that attends public universities in this state.

In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune titled “State universities: Illinois budget stalemate causing damage ‘beyond repair,’” it focuses on Chicago State University and how the lack of a state budget means that the university would be unable to pay its $5 million monthly payroll. Chicago State receives around 30 percent of its budget from the state, and with the financial reserves almost gone; it will be hard to finish up the semester with the lack of funds.

According to the article, Chicago State is the first university to list this as a possible scenario. The possibility that other universities who are in very similar situations may list this as a possible scenario may not be that far behind.

The very same article also quoted the Rauner memo, it is almost sad and ironic that Rauner and members of his office can talk so much about their disapproval about the university spending, yet he is the very person who wants a 31 percent budget cut for higher education.

Rauner can talk about public university sending and takes shots at all of the different public university, but at the end of the day, there is still no state budget and the university and their students are the ones to suffer.  The possibility of a university closing in the state is an actual possibility, and others may announce a similar predicament.  Rauner can blame universities all he wants, but as he does students are suffering in the state. Rauner is scheduled to give his second budget address on Feb. 17.

The daily editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Daily Eastern News.