Damage Done: Rauner Embarks on “Home I Fought to Destroy” Tour

Champaign, Decatur Devastated by Rauner Budget Crisis

Chicago, IL – Today, Bruce Rauner is kicking off a campaign tour with what should be called his “Home I Fought to Destroy Tour.” Rauner begins his tour with stops in Champaign and Decatur, two cities particularly devastated by his 736-day manufactured budget crisis:

From the Decatur Herald & ReviewIn Macon County, the budget deadlock threatened a spectrum of social service agencies, causing Baby TALK to lay off much of its staff and jeopardizing the future of the city’s only domestic violence shelter. It halted road projects and construction of Richland Community College's Student Success Center and left schools holding the bag on tens of thousands of dollars trapped in a payment backlog.
From “Don't minimize damage done to state already,” a Herald & Review editorial: Yet, after two years without a budget, those who depend on state money have cut programs, cut staff, cut recipients. […] "It will take years of hard work to reverse the damage that has been done," Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said in a letter to faculty and staff. […] The lack of a budget, and subsequent [social service] agency and school cuts, had immediate repercussions, but more importantly, will have long-term ramifications for individuals, counties and the state.
From the Champaign News-Gazette: The two-year state budget impasse that ended in July took a toll on faculty salaries and undergraduate recruitment... The [University of Illinois] Urbana campus has slipped to 19th in its peer group of 22 universities nationally in faculty salaries, she said. It also saw an increase in faculty departures during the budget impasse. "We've lost ground," [EVP of Academic Affairs Barb] Wilson said. "We're not competitive."
From Chicago TribuneAt public universities, officials and workers say some doctors and dentists, particularly those outside an insurance plan's provider network, increasingly asked patients to pick up the state's tab during the impasse. […] In downstate Urbana-Champaign and Springfield, where dentists are typically out-of-network providers, most University of Illinois employees are paying their full tabs upfront and waiting for the state to reimburse them, according to Thomas Hardy, a university spokesman.

“Bruce Rauner is kicking off his ‘Home I Fought to Destroy Tour’ with photo ops in cities he decimated across the state,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “For Champaign and Decatur, Rauner’s budget crisis did irreparable harm and the fight now is to defeat this failed governor and clean up the damage he’s done to our state.”


Michael Berger