Illinois Gov. Rauner delivers State of the State; Opponents respond

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —All the big political players were in Springfield today for Governor Rauner's annual update of the state of Illinois. He mentioned areas where he hopes lawmakers can work together. But that has not happened during his time in office and this is an election year.

Rauner called on the legislature to work together to fix Illinois.

“It is time we do what the people of Illinois want,” he said. “Halt the advance of taxes. Stop spending money we don’t have. Get our pensions under control. And give power back to the people.”

It was a familiar message from a governor entering the final year of his term.

Among the governor’s new ideas is an executive order to strengthen sexual misconduct policies making the state’s Ethics Act the supreme law even over collective bargaining agreements.

“When the #MeToo movement struck Springfield last fall, the outcry for ethical reform turned into legislation in a Hollywood minute,” he said.

But many of the governor’s proposals sound familiar.

When talking about property taxes, he said, “The system traps people in their homes, vaporizes their equity, drives mortgages under water.”

On term limits, he said, “Put term limits on the ballot and let the people decide.”

The Democrats in the chamber mostly kept quiet except for when the governor mentioned the budget. No one missed the irony of the epic 736-day standoff.

“I will submit a balanced budget proposal next month,” Rauner said to cheers.

The Democrats running for governor were at the Capitol today and offered their reviews.

JB Pritzker said, “I would suggest that the governor didn’t quite tell you what the state of the state really is.”

Chris Kennedy who continues to throw bombs at Democratic rival Pritzker said, when asked if he would support Pritzker over Rauner in the general election, “If you have a choice between the immoral and the unethical. I guess I’d go with the unethical. That’s a pretty tough choice.”

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