Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) followed up his 4th of July weekend stops in the state with a Tuesday visit to Rockford.
“Rockford should be booming economically,” said Rauner. “[It has] hard working people, great location, great infrastructure. Rockford should be booming. I’ll judge myself by how strong Rockford’s economy is.”
The Governor believes that economic boom will come if he and supporters stay focused on his reforms. He calls passing stopgap budget bills a step in the right direction.
“We didn’t really have to give up much of anything,” said Rauner. “I was always willing to put more money in the schools, especially low-income schools. That’s the big change off our original proposal.”
If the Governor didn’t give up any of his proposals, at the very least he put them on pause. His turnaround agenda includes some ambitious changes for the way things are done in Illinois, such as workman’s comp, pension reform, term limits. All of them are priorities. So, is one issue that impacts the Rockford area more than most others in the country, property tax.
“Illinois has the highest property taxes in America. This is wrong. It’s hurting our working families. It’s hurting our employers and we’ve got to change the system.”
Rauner says last week’s bills do that. It was a long time coming and the Governor is quick to put the blame on the party that’s been in charge for years, the democrats.
“The reason we need to change the system is democracy doesn’t work on a one party basis. We need both parties. We need balance. No one party should dominate anything. There should be give and take. Democrats and republicans working together, that’s why the reforms are so important.
Rauner also thinks the best change for the whole state is getting Springfield less involved.
“The other thing we need to do is get more local control. The people in Rockford should be able to decide how contracting and bidding and bargaining is done in your community and every community should be able to do that without unfunded mandates from Springfield. Get Springfield off the back of local property tax payers. Let local people decide how to run the government, that could bring down the property tax burden and we’re pushing that real strong.”