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Democrats, Republicans react to Rauner’s State of the State

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his annual State of the State address Wednesday. Here’s what politicks are saying in its aftermath.

— Evanston Sen. Daniel Biss, Democratic candidate for governor: “Bruce Rauner is a failed governor, and we can’t afford to give him and his right-wing agenda another chance. But we also know it’s not enough to just beat Bruce Rauner, because our state’s problems began long before he was elected to office. … We need to elect a middle-class progressive with a bold vision for our state.”

— Bloomington Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady: “Gov. Rauner reached out to both sides of the political divide in an effort to move Illinois in the right direction.  By working in a bipartisan manner, we need to pass a truly balanced budget, as well as provide meaningful property tax relief, both of which will help grow our economy and create jobs.”

— Rockford Democratic State Sen. Steve Stadelman: “While the governor laid out broad ideas today, he again failed to present a plan to accomplish them. In each of the last three years, we have seen the governor present extensive goals, but fail to achieve them due to combative, partisan politics. It’s my hope the governor will finally be able to present a balanced budget that will attain bipartisan support and bring our state back to financial stability.”

— Chicago Democratic Senate President John Cullerton: “Last year, in a bipartisan fashion without the governor’s help, we passed a budget after two years without having anything. The governor is the one who doesn’t have much to show for his time in office being bipartisan. But that’s his fault, not ours.”

— Educator Bob Daiber of Marine, Democratic candidate for governor: “How can you call for restoring trust and working together, and then in the same speech fire an attack at your political nemesis? The governor cannot be trusted and cannot be taken seriously.”

— House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs: “We must work together in a true, bipartisan manner to solve our problems — meaningful property tax relief, a balanced budget, pension reform and the reduction of the tax burden upon all Illinoisans. Together, we can find bipartisan compromises and solutions to put Illinois on the right fiscal path and create economic opportunities in all corners of the state.”

— Wheaton Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, Republican candidate for governor: “I don’t know if we’re reading from the same headlines or newspapers or articles about the state of the state. So it was a little bit mystifying that he didn’t hone in a little bit about specific directives that he is going to take control of.”

— Kenilworth businessman Chris Kennedy, Democratic candidate for governor: “Today’s State of the State wasn’t much different than his first State of the State. It was filled with empty promises and a thinly veiled blame-game. If anything, our state is in worse shape today than it was when Bruce Rauner was first elected.”

— Chicago Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan: “Gov. Rauner chooses to blame others for the challenges facing our state on his watch instead of being the leader he was elected to be. If the governor were as serious about addressing property taxes as he is about scoring cheap political points, he would have come to the table and worked with Democrats to support any of the multiple bills we have advanced.”

— Chicago businessman J.B. Pritzker, Democratic candidate for governor: “This is a failed governor trying to make up for three lost years.”

–Associated Press; Staff reports

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