Rauner Previews 1st-Year Priorities: Cut Taxes, Medicaid

January 22, 2015
Governor Bruce Rauner speaks to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Thursday.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on Thursday about his priorities for his first year in office.

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

 Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has begun laying out his priorities for his first year in office.
 
The Winnetka Republican spoke to students Thursday at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He says the speech was a preview of the policies he'll propose in his State of the State speech next month.

Rauner says property taxes and workers' compensation costs are too high.
 
He also says Medicaid spending is unsustainable and state workers' salaries and benefits are too generous.

Rauner repeated that raising taxes won’t fix the state’s unsustainable costs.  And he also touched on what he called a conflicted political system.

"We’re one of the few states that elects judges," he said.  "Your average voter has no clue who they’re voting for. And trial lawyers are unlimited in their ability to make campaign contributions to judges. Hello? Hello? This is a problem."

A PAC for trial lawyers gave Rauner’s opponent in November’s election more than $150-thousand.

Rauner didn't outline specifically how he'll address those issues. But he indicated cuts to Medicaid, employee salaries and other areas are needed.

That's likely to draw heavy opposition from Democrats and even some Republicans, as well as public-employee labor unions.
 
Rauner says Illinois is in "massive deterioration mode.''

Story source: AP