News Local/State

Rauner To Seek Common Ground In State Of The State Address

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

In this Jan. 11, 2016 file photo, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner talks to The Associated Press at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill., on the eve of the one-year anniversary of his taking office. Rauner is scheduled to give his second State of the State address Wednesday, Jan. 27 while there still is no budget deal for the year that began July 1. Seth Perlman/ Associated Press

Gov. Bruce Rauner will give his second annual state of the state address at noon Wednesday. After a year of stalemate, he's expected to make some effort to bridge a bipartisan divide.

In the year since the governor first laid out his agenda for the state, none of it has passed. Rauner has been unequivocal. Despite Democrats' resistance, and pressure on groups demanding a budget, he's not dropping his controversial prescription for a so-called "turnaround."

"We're not going to back down on it, we're not going to give in on it," he said Monday.

As he stands before a joint session of the General Assembly on Jan. 27, though, he could seek to find some common ground.

According to documents obtained by Illinois Public Radio, that includes a deal for pension relief he's been negotiating with the Democratic President of the Senate.

Look for the governor to also highlight something else that's had bipartisan support: a continued push to reduce the state's prison population.

A senior official with his administration says Rauner will announce a "government transformation" effort that looks to improve IT, alleviate red-tape from procurement rules, and to revise state's economic development agency, often known by the acronym DCEO. Rauner had previously advanced an initiative to make DCEO a public/private partnership, which he said would make it more competitive; Democrats only approved of a trial period for this arrangement. Now he'll update that concept.

Last - but not least - he'll touch on getting more money to schools, paired with requirements for greater accountability from teachers.

Despite demands from groups dependent on state funding, there's no indication in the documents that Rauner will introduce a broad plan to address new revenue, or the state's lack of a budget. Rauner will give another, budget-focused speech next month.