Rauner warns cabinet members to prepare for cash to run out

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Gov. Bruce Rauner (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer/Released)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is asking heads of state agencies to prepare for state funds to run out if he and Democratic lawmakers can’t reach a deal on a 2016 budget.

The Republican governor addressed members of his cabinet Wednesday.

He says the more than $400 million in cuts he announced Tuesday for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is “just the first step” to reduce spending. He warned them to be ready for possible restructuring.

Democrats approved a $36.3 billion budget that’s more than $3 billion short of revenues. Rauner says he won’t sign an unbalanced budget. He wants lawmakers to approve his legislative priorities _ such as a property tax freeze _ before he’ll consider a tax increase.

House lawmakers return to Springfield on Thursday.

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