SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner closed the public portion of Tuesday’s budget summit with a forceful plea to take on what he says are the root causes of Illinois’ financial woes.
The Republican governor capped statements to open the budget negotiation with a familiar speech about the business and political climates in the state and the need to change them. He disagreed with statements made by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago. Madigan has argued since summer that the changes Rauner wants to make are not related to the budget and should be discussed separately.
The businessman first-year governor wants to restrict workers’ compensation and liability lawsuit payouts and restrict union power as a way to make business grow and produce more revenue.
He says “we’ll still chase our tails” if the state just raises taxes – as Democrats desire – without “structural reforms.”
Rauner and the leaders are now talking in private.