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Republican To Rauner: Borrowing Better Than 'Outrageous' Interest

David Harris
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, explained why he was voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget veto.

Another voice is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to work with the budget that was passed over his objections.

Part of the budget calls for borrowing to pay down more than $14 billion in outstanding bills — saving the state millions in late penalties.

But Rauner has to start that process, and this week he cast doubt on whether he will.

“More borrowing, in and of itself, is not the answer," he told reporters Monday.

Those overdue bills were a big factor in why many Republicans defied Rauner to help Democrats pass the budget.

Rep. David Harris, a Republican from Arlington Heights, points to the $800 million in penalties we’ve racked up so far.

“Those are taxpayers’ dollars that are not accruing any benefit to the people of the state of Illinois, just to pay interest," Harris says.

“Unless there’s some alternative, then I strongly encourage the governor to take advantage of the borrowing authority that he has and lower those old bills and start eating away at these outrageous interest charges that we have built up," he says.

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Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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