Leaders, groups respond to Rauner’s State of the State (Updating)

We’re awaiting the full fallout from Springfield following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address today, but local lawmakers and groups are already sounding off.

Here’s a list that we’ll be updating as the afternoon goes on. If your group has a response they would like to submit, please send it into contact@rockrivertimes.com.


Democratic Rep. Litesa Wallace

“It’s clear from today’s address that the governor still does not have a plan to work in a bi-partisan fashion to craft a responsible budget. The state of Illinois is not in good shape, and while we have social service agencies closing their doors, students not returning to their college campuses and seniors being forced into institutionalized care, our governor is focused on slashing the wages of middle-class families.

“Thousands of Illinois families are depending on state leaders to reach a compromise and deliver the services they depend on. The governor let them down today, and instead continued to advocate for his extreme agenda that will force hard-working families into poorer living conditions and allow programs for our most vulnerable residents to go unfunded.“I stand ready and willing to work with the governor to find a solution and craft a responsible budget that cuts government waste while protecting critical programs. We have programs such as Adult Redeploy and breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women that are going unfunded because the governor refuses to back down from his anti-middle class agenda. This budget impasse is endangering lives and it’s time that we work together to develop a plan that protects our most vulnerable from devastating cuts.”

“I stand ready and willing to work with the governor to find a solution and craft a responsible budget that cuts government waste while protecting critical programs. We have programs such as Adult Redeploy and breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women that are going unfunded because the governor refuses to back down from his anti-middle class agenda. This budget impasse is endangering lives and it’s time that we work together to develop a plan that protects our most vulnerable from devastating cuts.”


GOP Rep. Joe Sosnowski

“The Governor’s plan is extensive and lays out steps to compete with other states and actually beat them. The Governor has to deal with entrenched legislative leadership that refuses to come into the 21st century. It’s time to get Illinois moving.”


Democratic Sen. Steve Stadelman

“The governor had a chance today to lay out a proposal to end the dysfunction plaguing Illinois. The state is doubling its backlog of bills and spending billions of dollars more than we collect.“Illinois does need reformed, but not at the cost of eliminating in-home senior care and respite services for veterans in Rockford. The governor and legislative leaders need to craft a bipartisan solution before it is too late.”

“Illinois does need reformed, but not at the cost of eliminating in-home senior care and respite services for veterans in Rockford. The governor and legislative leaders need to craft a bipartisan solution before it is too late.”


GOP Sen. Dave Syverson

“The Governor is continuing his push to improve our business climate and grow good-paying jobs, but he’s also working to improve the way our entire state government functions. This platform of bold reforms is how we can finally overcome a decade of mismanagement that ran our state into the ground.”


Emily Miller, director of policy and advocacy at Voices for Illinois Children

“A full seven months after the start of the fiscal year, Illinois leaders have failed to carry out their most basic responsibility — enact a balanced budget that funds vital state services and invests in our state. Less than a week after the largest social service provider in the state announced closures of 30 programs that left 4,700 Illinoisians without services, and with additional program closures from other providers virtually certain, Governor Rauner failed to prioritize reaching a budget agreement that would lead to lasting fiscal stability.

“Instead of making a budget agreement with lawmakers his number one priority, the governor described an ambitious plan to restructure pieces of state government, and did not even mention the state budget until the final two minutes of his speech. Some of the policy items the governor mentioned have the potential to positively impact our state. Unfortunately, long-term structural reforms will not have the desired positive impact if we continue to disinvest in the families and communities and destroy the state-funded structures that provide public services due to the lack of a fully funded state budget.

“The governor clearly has an ambitious agenda for his second year. Illinois’ future would be better served if he turned his immediate attention to finding a solution to the most pressing issue facing us: the lack of a state budget.”


Greg Kelley, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President

“If Bruce Rauner were interested in telling the truth today about the state of the state he could have said, “It’s broken.” And it’s been broken on purpose.

“The governor has caused massive cuts to the social safety net in Illinois as part of a scheme to enact his “Turnaround Agenda” to lower wages and worker protections. And it has been people of color and women who have disproportionately borne the brunt of his scorched-earth strategy.

“Home healthcare and child care have been particularly harmed by this governor, both by unilateral administrative rule; through the budget process; and at the bargaining table. The governor is quick to point out that he didn’t cause the long-term structural problems facing Illinois. But there can be no question that he has made things worse. And now, instead of asking for shared sacrifice, it looks like he once again is seeking to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, children, working families, people with disabilities, women and people of color.

“Rauner might have no conception of the suffering he has caused, but as he continues to push his extreme agenda at the cost of vulnerable Illinoisans and workers, it increasingly looks like he’s in a state of denial.”

One thought on “Leaders, groups respond to Rauner’s State of the State (Updating)

  • January 28, 2016 at 8:38 am
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    By comparison Minnesota’s billionaire governor taxed the rich, increased the minimum wage and supported public service unions. The result is a huge surplus while becoming one of the best places to do business (Forbes). Rauner who is trying to emulate Walker in Wisconsin should take a closer look how that state failed its citizens under a right wing administration.

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