As Gov. Bruce Rauner lays out his policy priorities in his first State of the State address, Illinois lawmakers analyze what he had to say -- and what we can expect from his budget address later this month. We'll hear from State Representatives Tom Demmer and Sara Feigenholtz, and state Senators Dan Kotowski and Michael Connelly.
- The Illinois Turnaround Plan Agenda
- Conflicts of Interest in State Government
- Moody's Illinois Economic Forecast
Watch Rauner's address and read the transcript.
Watch Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno's reactions to Rauner's address
Watch Republican State Rep. Demmer's reaction to the State of the State address.
Read Republican State Sen. Connelly's comments on Rauner's address.
“Clearly Governor Rauner was elected to make bold moves and take swift action to put Illinois back on the path to fiscal solvency and get our state’s economy going again. Today, we begin the process of returning Illinois to its rightful position as the economic engine of the Midwest.”
Read Democratic State Sen. Kotowski's response to the State of the State address.
“I appreciate the governor’s commitment to investing in education and technical training. We need to fill the approximately 100,000 manufacturing jobs that are available in our state.
Our state faces significant financial challenges, and I commit to working with Governor Rauner to find common ground and provide meaningful solutions.
For example, there are hundreds of millions of surplus dollars in special-interest rainy day funds that can be used to ease our current financial crisis. I recommend the governor use that money immediately to protect taxpayers and help families in need of child care so they can go to work and take care of their families.”
Watch Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's State of the State address reaction.
Read Senate President John Cullerton's response to Rauner's address.
“The state of the state is the governor’s opportunity to give the people of Illinois a fact-based assessment of where we are and where we are going. Unfortunately, too much of the governor’s opportunity was squandered with campaign rhetoric that denigrates the reputation of the state.
Illinois has made progress since the Great Recession. With each speech that Governor Rauner delivers, I am reminded that the new governor has a lot to learn if he is to build on our successes in Medicaid reform, workers compensation, pension reform, cutting the bill backlog and meeting our obligations.
All of those successes have been bipartisan, but there is still much more work to do. We are going to have to work together to find fiscal solutions that fully fund education, fuel economic growth and meet the diverse needs of working families needing higher wages and child care now. Talk is cheap, but these priorities will require targeted investments.
The people of this state elected a divided government, but the governor will soon learn that it doesn’t mean that he needs to be divisive. As he begins to shape his budget, one of his principal tasks will be to identify common ground with the legislature as we all keep working for a better Illinois.”
Read reaction tweets from unions and organizations in Illinois.
Read Illinois Manufacturers' Association President & CEO Greg Baise reaction to Rauner's State of the State address.
"Illinois has suffered without strong executive leadership for more than a decade, and we're pleased that Governor Bruce Rauner has outlined a clear path to prosperity for Illinois. Job creators see a glimmer of hope because Governor Rauner recognizes that Illinois can no longer afford to kick the can down the road and must make the bold and decisive choices in order to create a booming economy. We're pleased that Governor Rauner is focused on key issues like workers' compensation reform, comprehensive tax reform, education and workforce development, and creation of local empowerment zones to help spur job growth and economic development. It's now time for Governor Rauner and the General Assembly to work together and deliver results because we can't afford to wait any longer."