Governor Bruce Rauner says he remains “deeply optimistic” that lawmakers will come together for the good of Illinois, restoring fiscal responsibility and approving fundamental changes in the way state government works, according to Senator Tim Bivins.
Governor Rauner delivered his third “State of the State” address to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers January 25 in the House of Representatives chambers.
“A new year and the convening of the 100th General Assembly are symbolic events. Now is the time to renew our dedication to fiscal responsibility and long-overdue changes to the way things are done in Springfield,” Senator Bivins said. “The Governor gave a pretty realistic assessment of our state, talking about our recent accomplishments, but also pointing out the many challenges we still face. But, like the Governor, we must be optimistic that by putting aside partisan rhetoric and working together, we can accomplish what needs to be done.”
Senator Bivins said the Rauner Administration has been working to bring a new direction to Illinois, but is dealing with the cumulative effects of years of tax-and-spend policies and questionable budgeting practices. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget has released its three-year fiscal projections mandated by state statute, and those projections show that under “auto-pilot” budgets over the next three years, the state’s backlog of bills could reach $34 billion by June 30, 2020.
Senator Bivins said key to turning Illinois around is promoting the kind of economic climate that encourages job creation and growth. Other legislative issues that need action this year are property tax relief; education funding and reforms that prepare young people for careers; workers’ compensation and regulation reforms that encourage business growth and jobs; and reining in state spending.
The 45th District Senator said he stands ready to work with Governor Rauner and his fellow lawmakers to find solutions for the many problems facing Illinois.
Governor Rauner is expected to present his Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Address February 15.