Rauner Pushes Workers’ Comp Reform In Bloomington
Governor Bruce Rauner has taken his turnaround agenda campaign to Bloomington, calling for workers' compensation reform to save Caterpillar jobs that are moving to Arizona. During a stop at Nord's Outdoor Power, Rauner used Caterpillar's announcement this week that it's moving its mining division operations from Illinois and other states to Arizona.
"This is their home. They're proud. They do not want to leave," said Rauner. "But, you know what? They have a duty to be competitive and grow their company."
Rauner has long contended that reducing business costs would create a positive economic environment in Illinois that would help keep current companies from leaving and help bring new ones to the state.
Procurement Reform Needed
Rauner also turned a reporter question about a three percent Illinois State University tuition hike and a lack of state money for student assistance into a call for less government regulation.
"If the Democrats would pass procurement reform, the purchasing reforms that we've requested, we could save half a billion dollars a year, it would not require a tax hike and that half-billion dollars could fund our MAP (Monetary Award Program) grants. There's a solution that's actually funded," Rauner said.
'No comment' on Trump
Rauner refused to discuss reports that he has decided against endorsing New York businessman Donald Trump, the apparent Republican presidential nominee. Rauner said his focus is solely on the future of Illinois.
"We have a major crisis. We don't have a budget. We've had deficit spending for more than 20 years. We have an unfunded pension liability that's outrageous. We have employers leaving the state and we're running out of cash. I'm focused 100 percent on the state and getting us strong and healthy," Rauner said.
Rauner says he won't travel to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He says any traveling he does will be "on my own dime." Rauner said he wants to travel internationally to recruit companies to relocate in Illinois. He also said he wants to travel to Indiana.
"They've been stealing our jobs in Indiana for decades. I'm a competitive 'son of a gun.' I don't want our jobs going to Indiana, I want them coming here in Bloomington, and I want them coming to Quincy and I want them coming to Springfield and Rockford. I don't want to travel to Cleveland, I want to keep working for the people of Illinois and that's what I'm going to do," said Rauner.
When asked if his decision to skip the convention was precedent-setting for a sitting Illinois governor, Rauner responded, "I don't know. I'm not sure. There are a lot of things I'm doing different as governor. We've been doing a lot of things the wrong way for a lot of time in this state and I'm taking us the right way."