Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used his State of the State Address to call for less spending. But he was short on details.
Rauner will be back before the General Assembly in two weeks to lay out his budget ideas. In this speech, he only hinted at his plan.
"It will offer a path to reduced spending and will show the way to surpluses going forward so we can cut taxes and start to push back on the assault on middle class bank accounts."
But Democrats, who argue Rauner has never submitted a balanced budget, say they can't see how Rauner could meet other priorities, including more money for schools if he trims revenue.
"How does the governor intend to pay for his deficit spending, that is in fact now making him the highest deficit spending governor in the history of the state of Illinois."
That's Democrat and State Comptroller Susana Mendoza Few would expect the Governor and Democrats, who control the legislature, to reach common ground. They have been unable to do so in the three years Rauner has been in office.
The State of the State address was a chance for Governor Bruce Rauner to appeal to residents who will vote in the March primary and general election this fall. It was also a chance for his opponents to criticize him. Fellow Republican Wheaton State Representative, Jeanne Ives, is running against Rauner during the primary.
"I did not see enough specifics in his address today that left us in any better condition than we are right now as a state that is bankrupt."
Ives argues the past three years have proven Rauner to be an ineffective leader. Meanwhile much of the Governor's speech focused on his desire to weed out longtime politicians, like the Democrats who control the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Some of the Democrats in attendance want to unseat him in the election this fall.
At least three of the Democratic candidates running for governor were at the statehouse to criticize Rauner's remarks:
"Job's haven't been created under this Governor, he's been there three years, he promised it - didn't deliver..."
"We saw today a speech from someone who has not been watching Illinois government for the last three years, someone who has not seen the failures of the Rauner administration for the past three years..."
"Governor Rauner talked about, time to roll up his sleeves. The thing to ask him is, 'When have you rolled up your sleeves and actually reached out to the congressional delegation, when has he called Dick Durbin...."
That was, in order, billionaire businessman JB Pritzker, State Senator from Evanston, Daniel Biss, and businessman and son of Robert Kennedy - Chris Kennedy. They, as well as Bob Daiber and Tio Hardiman, are running in the March primary to be the Democratic nominee for governor.