Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner laid out his agenda for
2016 during the “State of the State” address on Wednesday, January 27th.
In the speech, Rauner asked lawmakers to break from partisan politics and
ideology, and do what is right for Illinois’ long term future.
During the thirty minute speech,
Governor Rauner was clear that despite an ongoing budget impasse, he isn’t
standing still. He’s moving forward with a transformation agenda designed to
make Illinois’ government more efficient and effective for Illinois residents.
Included in this transformation are proposals to reform
Illinois’ pension system, education system, and criminal justice system, as
well as initiatives to transform health and human service, Illinois IT systems,
and spur economic development. The Governor says he’s focused on improving how
Illinois operates at every level, and improving the lives of all Illinoisans.
Much of the speech focused on education reform, which the
Governor called the key to rising family incomes, more high paying jobs, and a
higher quality of life for everyone in Illinois. Rauner committed to
eliminating wasteful bureaucracy, and putting more money into the classroom.
Fundamental reforms designed to create economic
opportunity and jobs for Illinois residents were also part of Rauner’s plan for
the state. According to the Governor, Illinois has the ability to lead the
nation in growth and opportunity, but it must address its workers compensation
system, labor regulations, liability costs and high property taxes to make Illinois
Rauner discussed the need to restore Illinoisans trust in
state government, starting with term limits and redistricting reform. He noted
that in his most recent State of the Union, President Obama had come out
strongly in favor of both of these ideas.
Concluding his remarks Rauner said, “We must break from
the politics of the past and do what is right for the long term future of our
state. I’m ready – and it’s my genuine hope that you are too. Let’s
continue this journey together. Illinois can't wait any longer.”