Rauner: “We Can Pass Eight Bills” To Change State Government

Governor Bruce Rauner before Wednesday's State of the State address.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner acknowledges applause before delivering his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday.

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Governor Bruce Rauner is staking out his political ground and digging in his heels, preparing for what could be multiple showdowns with the Democrat-controlled legislature this Spring.

In a speech in Decatur Friday morning, the governor reiterated his plans to attract more business to Illinois.

 In front of a group of local business leaders, the governor continued to talk about his "comprehensive" plan to improve what he says is the state's "worst in the nation" business climate.

Rauner said he thinks he can make the sweeping changes he wants in six to eight big packages of legislation.

"We get six hundred bills in an average year. We can pass eight bills," he said.

The governor and his Republican allies are banking on there being enough sweet in the proposals to be able to choke down the bitter, like plans designed to dilute the power of government employee unions.

Rauner said union protections for minimum pay end up costing the state more than what’s fair.

"I believe that the free market should rule and especially if tax dollars are being spent, the taxpayers deserve to get the most value for their taxes," he said.

But don't count on Democrats going along with the governor's plan.

Democrats may have played nice after Rauner's State of the State address this week, promising to work together with the other party...but their supermajorities have the power to kill a Rauner plan dead on arrival.

Rauner made a similar speech in Peoria after his Decatur appearance, and small groups of union members were present, protesting the governor.

Story source: WILL