Organizations, Leaders Respond to Governor Rauner's State of the State Address

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago, issued the following statement Wednesday after Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address:

“As we chart a course for Illinois in the coming year, we should begin by focusing on where we can all agree. We all agree the state cannot continue to operate without a budget. Passing a balanced budget remains Illinois’ top priority, and a top priority of the House Democratic Caucus.
“We can also agree that Illinois must take serious steps to improve our business climate and create new job opportunities. But House Democrats reject the idea that the only way to create jobs in Illinois is to cut wages and strip away workplace protections in order to pad the profits of big corporations. Instead, we will work to advance an agenda of positive economic reforms that improve the business climate without hurting the middle class.
“We believe we can grow our economy and create jobs without hurting middle-class families. We can provide good jobs for working families while also passing policies that help businesses grow – those two ideas are not mutually exclusive to one another. Under my direction, the House will begin a thorough vetting process of proposals that will enable us to create jobs while also lifting up and helping the middle class and struggling families around our state.”

The following is the response of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State Address:

“Bruce Rauner remains in a state of denial. His address today did nothing to acknowledge HIS own role in a budget that purposefully has harmed women, children, seniors, people of color and people with disabilities in an attempt to achieve a non-budgetary political wish list.
“His has abdicated his chief constitutional responsibility, to INTRODUCE a balanced budget, all while using the revenging power of his checkbook to back right-wing politicians who share his vision of dismantling the social safety net in Illinois brick-by-brick and destroying the rights of workers.
“While he has distanced himself from Donald Trump’s rhetoric and hidden his support, his bullying actions fit perfectly within the new nightmare framework in Washington.
“When it comes to the state of programs staffed by OUR members, Rauner’s record has been particularly abysmal. Almost 50,000 fewer children receive care because of his rules changes. And thousands of people with disabilities face forced institutionalization because of overtime cuts to their home healthcare.
In the sorry state of Bruce Rauner, it’s up to members of both parties to insist NOW on a fully-funded budget NOT balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable among us and NOT predicated on a non-budgetary political wish list.”
The Illinois Manufacturers' Association has released the following statement in response to Governor Rauner's State of the State Address:

"The Illinois Manufacturers' Association applauds Governor Rauner for his continued focus on balancing the state's budget and strengthening the economy to make Illinois competitive again. We're pleased that the Governor and all four legislative leaders have expressed a desire to end the budget stalemate and incent job creation. Last year, nearly 11,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in Illinois decimating families and communities. Since 2009, Illinois has lost 1,600 manufacturing jobs while Michigan (163,700), Indiana (90,800), Ohio (76,700), and Wisconsin (41,300) added tens of thousands of jobs. Illinois is a bountiful state with tremendous advantages but government is closing the state one day at a time with burdensome government regulations. It's time for both parties to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful reform that will put our state's fiscal house in order, enact pro-business reforms, strengthen our education and workforce system, and tackle property tax reform that shifts the burden unfairly to commercial and industrial taxpayers."

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has issued the following statement related to Governor Rauner's State of the State Address:

"The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce agrees that a balanced budget with substantial business reforms will help provide stability to our economy along with the certainty Chicago-area job creators are looking for from our state. Chicagoland businesses have felt the brunt of taxes, regulations and fees and we believe balance is needed. Our members stand ready to continue working with Governor Rauner and the legislative leaders towards solutions that revitalize our economy and put us back on a competitive path for growth," said Theresa E. Mintle, president and CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) State Director Mark Grant issued the following statement on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address:

“Small business owners appreciate the Governor’s work to balance the budget and put the state on a stable fiscal footing. They would like to remind him and state legislators that the state remains an expensive and difficult place to operate a business. Any ‘grand bargain’ that results in burdensome new taxes would make it even harder for them to stay in business and stay in Illinois.
“The Governor’s efforts to cut red tape and reduce paperwork burdens are helpful to small business owners and finding more regulations to streamline or eliminate could clear the way for growth. However, that progress could be unwound if balancing the budget comes on the backs of businesses struggling with slim margins.”
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