(CBS) – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to distance himself from the hardships emanating from the two-year-old stalemate over a new state budget.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

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Rauner on Monday rejected any suggestion he’s using cash-strapped state colleges and universities and struggling social service agencies as leverage in his budget battle with Democratic lawmakers.

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Rauner tells reporters all he’s doing is trying to pass a balanced budget. He says he’s taking the message to Illinoisans though speeches, news conferences, social media and paid commercials.

“The people of Illinois need to know what’s on the line: term limits, fair (legislative) maps, property tax freeze, pension reform, education funding reform. These are all important things to help us get balanced budgets for the long term.”

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Still the Governor insists there’s no specific reform he needs to see in any budget deal before he agrees to support it.