Gov. Rauner Visits Southern Illinois

Apr 12, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner brought his campaign tour to southern Illinois Wednesday.

Speaking to a group of supporters and workers at Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, the governor says Illinois government is broken and his turnaround agenda items are needed to fix it.

Rauner says the nearly two-year long budget stalemate is really about the future of Illinois.
"Are we going to stay on this track that we've been on of higher taxes, deficit spending, corruption, unfunded schools? Or are we going to go in a new direction, a more positive direction...more growth, more economic opportunity, higher family incomes, lower property taxes, properly funded schools, and government that works for the people (by) restoring democracy by getting fair maps redistricting reform and getting term limits."
Rauner's opponents say he should be in Springfield working on a budget deal, not campaigning. Rauner says he continues to work on the budget, while state lawmakers are on spring break.
"This trip around the state - and I've been in 12 cities in two days - is not funded in any regard by taxpayers. This is just part of communicating. What we've got to do is get out around the state and communicate to the residents what's going on. This is communicating to democrats as well as republicans."

Rauner says he does not support approving more stopgap budgets.

The Illinois House recently approved a temporary plan to release $559 million to higher education and $258 million to human services whose funding is not ordered by court rulings.

But, Rauner says the real solution is a balanced budget that would provide stable funding for places like SIU.
"Let's help SIU grow and be a world-class university for the long term. I love SIU, it's a great institution, I'm a big advocate. They need long term support, not another duct tape solution. Duct tape will not fix the problem."
SIU leaders are looking at dramatic cuts - including a 30-million dollar cut on the Carbondale campus.
Public colleges and universities in Illinois have not received any state money since last year due to the budget stalemate.

Rauner says feels for the nearly 200 families in Cairo being forced to move.

The families must relocate because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is demolishing two public housing complexes .

Rauner says this is a tragic situation.
"It just shows why people don't really have much confidence in government with what's going on there. It's really a federal government issue, but our team is trying to work and help where we can there and my heart goes out to the families who are being hurt."
HUD says although most of the families want to remain in the Cairo area, there isn't enough available housing for that to happen.