Governor Rauner renews call for Illinois reforms during Budget Address

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner took aim at pension and insurance reforms during his third Budget Address on Tuesday, February 15.

He told lawmakers that the state can't tax its way to prosperity, nor cut its way to a better future.

"This isn't about pointing fingers or assigning blame," he said. "We are where we are."

When some lawmakers laughed at the statement, it frustrated the Child Abuse Council.

Located in Moline, it usually gets one-third of its funding from Illinois. In 2017, though, it hasn't received anything.

"To me, that signifies they're no closer to coming to a grand plan then they were in the last two years," said Executive Director Mark Mathews.

Gov. Rauner applauds a Senate try at budget compromise.  He says that balancing the budget will boost his top priority, job creation, with a good deal for taxpayers.

"A grand bargain that truly balances the budget once and for all," he said.  "And really moves the needle when it comes to job creation."

The governor calls to fully fund the life skills and reentry center in Kewanee while also supporting programs that help infants to the elderly.

Local agencies, though, are bracing for bad news in 2017.

"The signal I get is more of the same," Mathews continued.  "That's devastating for the families and the kids that we serve."

Gov. Rauner is offering an olive branch to break through a three-year budget crisis.

"Let's put Illinois back on the road to prosperity," he concluded.  "Let's do what we were sent here to do."