The next governor will face significant challenges balancing the state budget. If the legislature sends an unbalanced budget, what will you do? If the budget requires cutting, where would you cut? Please be specific.

Budget

We can save money by improving our Medicaid system. As governor, I've saved about $450 million by eliminating waste and abuse and we're going to save $1 billion over the next few years by moving to a new managed care system that will also eliminate administration and bureaucracy that stands between doctors and patients. I've helped our state save millions of dollars by digitizing our government systems because too many departments and agencies are still relying on pen and paper. I've also helped reform government contracts with unions so that we are moving away from seniority-based pay to merit-based pay.

We can save money by improving our Medicaid system. As governor, I've saved about $450 million by eliminating waste and abuse and we're going to save $1 billion over the next few years by moving to a new managed care system that will also eliminate administration and bureaucracy that stands between doctors and patients. I've helped our state save millions of dollars by digitizing our government systems because too many departments and agencies are still relying on pen and paper. I've also helped reform government contracts with unions so that we are moving away from seniority-based pay to merit-based pay.

As governor I will fulfill my constitutional duties to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. I will champion the reforms necessary to make sure the state's expenditures match the state's revenues. And I will be ready to cooperate with the legislature to craft a budget that meets the needs of Illinoisans so long as it does not rely on additional taxes. But if the legislature ultimately sends me an unbalanced budget, I will veto it.

Just as the governor has the duty to recommend a balanced budget to the legislature, the legislature also has the constitutional duty to pass a budget where spending does not exceed revenues. Bruce Rauner never had the courage to send a balanced budget to the legislature. He shirked his responsibility. And for nearly two decades, the legislature under Mike Madigan has passed failed, unbalanced budgets. That has to end. I promise that I will hold the legislature accountable to their constitutional requirement. Any budget sent from the legislature that is not balanced and does not include enough surplus to accommodate for unforeseen exigencies will be vetoed using the full authority granted to the Governor. .

First, it's the constitutional obligation of the governor to propose a balanced budget to the legislature. Bruce Rauner hasn't met that obligation even once. I will work with the legislature and stakeholders to craft a forward-thinking budget that prioritizes job creation, healthcare, and education. Investment in these critical areas yields savings down the road and ensures that we are setting every Illinoisan up for success.

The best way to increase state revenue is to grow jobs and economic activity, which is an important focus of my campaign and something I have done in my own business and in my active effort to build up the technology startup ecosystem in Illinois.

As we seek to balance revenue and expenditures of the state's budget, growth is an important component that seems too often overlooked. Investing in areas that will improve people's lives will reduce the costs associated with education, health care, and the criminal justice system. Having worked for more than 20 years in early education, I have seen firsthand the benefits of preparing kids for K-12 education before they arrive. Decades of studies show the significant savings to taxpayers.

Similarly, our healthcare system is too dependent on treating symptoms after medical problems arise rather than focusing on preventative care. If I receive an unbalanced budget from the legislature as governor, I will bring legislators to the table so we can make sure we're prioritizing jobs, education, and healthcare. Unlike Bruce Rauner, I won't give up before it's done and claim "I'm not in charge."

Balancing a budget requires three critical components: expenditures, revenues, and economic growth, which drives revenue growth. Expenditures and revenues will be on the table for discussion, but all in the context of how best to create jobs and prosperity for working families across Illinois. To pay for critically important priorities, I will focus on reforming our tax system by making it less regressive.

There is no part of the budget that is more sacred than the other for me. If cuts have to be made, I would make them equally throughout all of the different departments in the budget.

I would veto any budget that is out of balance, that does not fund our pensions, and that relies on short-term gimmicks and non-structural changes.

First, I would appoint a bipartisan commission to find savings inside of state government. Illinois has not had a truly non-partisan effort to reduce costs inside of state government. We need that effort.

Second, I would seek to find savings inside our Medicaid program that does not impact services to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Third, I would reduce the amount spent on elected officials including eliminating unnecessary offices. Fourth, I would reduce the number of state agencies through merging agencies and eliminating unnecessary boards and commissions

If the legislature send the Hardiman Administration an unbalanced budget then I would work harder with the legislative leaders to make we have a balanced budget. There will be no need to make cuts to the state budget if we push for the Progressive Tax, Financial Transaction Tax, and Legalize Recreational Use Marijuana. This represents new revenue without taxing the working class people.

Illinois' budget hasn't been genuinely balanced for decades. I am not going to engage in the publicity stunt of banging the desk and demanding a balanced budget. If we have a budget that improves the state's financial condition and sets us on an irreversible course to addressing our problems, I will sign it. I will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I would cut the office of secretary of education, funded at $250,000. It duplicates the work of our state superintendent, the state Board of Education and the regional superintendents. As governor, I will evaluate administrative appointments as to whether they duplicate jobs that somebody else is doing. In the big picture, though, everyone wants the state to cut spending, but public opinion research from Southern Illinois University tells us that the only popular area to cut is "waste." Unfortunately, "waste" is not a line-item in the state budget. We should always be looking to improve efficiency, but government is not a factory. Government has to be able to respond to crises; is it "waste" to have firemen and paramedics on the clock when there's no emergency? Everything the state does is important to somebody, and many of the state's activities produce economic benefit. I know the Chicago Tribune editorial board doesn't want to hear it, but government spending is good for the economy. Politically, a governor can make a big show out of cutting or eliminating small programs and creating societal pain, but the cost savings are nickels and dimes. The real state spending — "the billions" — is in debt service, aid to local school districts, pensions and Medicaid. Should we — can we? — tell bondholders, pension system members, school districts and poor people on Medicaid that we're not going to pay? We can't, for reasons both legal and moral, and anybody who knows anything about running a government knows this.

I will not sign an unbalanced budget. If the legislature sends me one, I will assess it to see whether it can be brought into balance in ways that preserve our priorities and meet the responsibilities of state government, and if this is impossible then I will veto it in full and resume negotiations.

As a general rule, I believe that the right way to cut costs is by making government more efficient rather than by thoughtlessly slashing line items, a strategy which disproportionately harms vulnerable communities without solving underlying budgetary issues. To make government more efficient and balance the budget at the same time, we should look for ways to consolidate duplicative and overly complex systems. For example, Illinois has hundreds of separate pension systems, more than any other state but Pennsylvania. With fewer systems, we could save money while providing better investment returns and rooting out corruption.

Another way to improve efficiency is to consolidate and dissolve units of local government. In 2014, I passed a law that allowed the City of Evanston to dissolve Evanston Township after a referendum from Evanston voters. This change made government more efficient, cutting overall costs and saving taxpayers money. I would also reduce spending by improving state policies for long term care through my LIFE Plan.

By creating a system of universal long term care in which families can apply a flexible credit towards in-home care provided by a caregiver or family member, an adult day care center, or other community-based program rather than only providing support for nursing homes, we can cut spending and ensure Illinoisans get care tailored to their needs.

As governor I will fulfill my constitutional duties to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. I will champion the reforms necessary to make sure the state's expenditures match the state's revenues. And I will be ready to cooperate with the legislature to craft a budget that meets the needs of Illinoisans so long as it does not rely on additional taxes. But if the legislature ultimately sends me an unbalanced budget, I will veto it.

Just as the governor has the duty to recommend a balanced budget to the legislature, the legislature also has the constitutional duty to pass a budget where spending does not exceed revenues. Bruce Rauner never had the courage to send a balanced budget to the legislature. He shirked his responsibility. And for nearly two decades, the legislature under Mike Madigan has passed failed, unbalanced budgets. That has to end. I promise that I will hold the legislature accountable to their constitutional requirement. Any budget sent from the legislature that is not balanced and does not include enough surplus to accommodate for unforeseen exigencies will be vetoed using the full authority granted to the Governor. .

First, it's the constitutional obligation of the governor to propose a balanced budget to the legislature. Bruce Rauner hasn't met that obligation even once. I will work with the legislature and stakeholders to craft a forward-thinking budget that prioritizes job creation, healthcare, and education. Investment in these critical areas yields savings down the road and ensures that we are setting every Illinoisan up for success.

The best way to increase state revenue is to grow jobs and economic activity, which is an important focus of my campaign and something I have done in my own business and in my active effort to build up the technology startup ecosystem in Illinois.

As we seek to balance revenue and expenditures of the state's budget, growth is an important component that seems too often overlooked. Investing in areas that will improve people's lives will reduce the costs associated with education, health care, and the criminal justice system. Having worked for more than 20 years in early education, I have seen firsthand the benefits of preparing kids for K-12 education before they arrive. Decades of studies show the significant savings to taxpayers.

Similarly, our healthcare system is too dependent on treating symptoms after medical problems arise rather than focusing on preventative care. If I receive an unbalanced budget from the legislature as governor, I will bring legislators to the table so we can make sure we're prioritizing jobs, education, and healthcare. Unlike Bruce Rauner, I won't give up before it's done and claim "I'm not in charge."

Balancing a budget requires three critical components: expenditures, revenues, and economic growth, which drives revenue growth. Expenditures and revenues will be on the table for discussion, but all in the context of how best to create jobs and prosperity for working families across Illinois. To pay for critically important priorities, I will focus on reforming our tax system by making it less regressive.

There is no part of the budget that is more sacred than the other for me. If cuts have to be made, I would make them equally throughout all of the different departments in the budget.

I would veto any budget that is out of balance, that does not fund our pensions, and that relies on short-term gimmicks and non-structural changes.

First, I would appoint a bipartisan commission to find savings inside of state government. Illinois has not had a truly non-partisan effort to reduce costs inside of state government. We need that effort.

Second, I would seek to find savings inside our Medicaid program that does not impact services to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Third, I would reduce the amount spent on elected officials including eliminating unnecessary offices. Fourth, I would reduce the number of state agencies through merging agencies and eliminating unnecessary boards and commissions

If the legislature send the Hardiman Administration an unbalanced budget then I would work harder with the legislative leaders to make we have a balanced budget. There will be no need to make cuts to the state budget if we push for the Progressive Tax, Financial Transaction Tax, and Legalize Recreational Use Marijuana. This represents new revenue without taxing the working class people.

Illinois' budget hasn't been genuinely balanced for decades. I am not going to engage in the publicity stunt of banging the desk and demanding a balanced budget. If we have a budget that improves the state's financial condition and sets us on an irreversible course to addressing our problems, I will sign it. I will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I would cut the office of secretary of education, funded at $250,000. It duplicates the work of our state superintendent, the state Board of Education and the regional superintendents. As governor, I will evaluate administrative appointments as to whether they duplicate jobs that somebody else is doing. In the big picture, though, everyone wants the state to cut spending, but public opinion research from Southern Illinois University tells us that the only popular area to cut is "waste." Unfortunately, "waste" is not a line-item in the state budget. We should always be looking to improve efficiency, but government is not a factory. Government has to be able to respond to crises; is it "waste" to have firemen and paramedics on the clock when there's no emergency? Everything the state does is important to somebody, and many of the state's activities produce economic benefit. I know the Chicago Tribune editorial board doesn't want to hear it, but government spending is good for the economy. Politically, a governor can make a big show out of cutting or eliminating small programs and creating societal pain, but the cost savings are nickels and dimes. The real state spending — "the billions" — is in debt service, aid to local school districts, pensions and Medicaid. Should we — can we? — tell bondholders, pension system members, school districts and poor people on Medicaid that we're not going to pay? We can't, for reasons both legal and moral, and anybody who knows anything about running a government knows this.

I will not sign an unbalanced budget. If the legislature sends me one, I will assess it to see whether it can be brought into balance in ways that preserve our priorities and meet the responsibilities of state government, and if this is impossible then I will veto it in full and resume negotiations.

As a general rule, I believe that the right way to cut costs is by making government more efficient rather than by thoughtlessly slashing line items, a strategy which disproportionately harms vulnerable communities without solving underlying budgetary issues. To make government more efficient and balance the budget at the same time, we should look for ways to consolidate duplicative and overly complex systems. For example, Illinois has hundreds of separate pension systems, more than any other state but Pennsylvania. With fewer systems, we could save money while providing better investment returns and rooting out corruption.

Another way to improve efficiency is to consolidate and dissolve units of local government. In 2014, I passed a law that allowed the City of Evanston to dissolve Evanston Township after a referendum from Evanston voters. This change made government more efficient, cutting overall costs and saving taxpayers money. I would also reduce spending by improving state policies for long term care through my LIFE Plan.

By creating a system of universal long term care in which families can apply a flexible credit towards in-home care provided by a caregiver or family member, an adult day care center, or other community-based program rather than only providing support for nursing homes, we can cut spending and ensure Illinoisans get care tailored to their needs.