Rauner's call for a balanced budget strikes a chord
In his second State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner tackled key financial issues affecting Illinois, calling for an end to the state’s 7-month-old budget stalemate and urging passage of pension reform and property tax relief.
Rauner said Illinois must also work harder to compete with other states for jobs.
Mike Babcock, the Republican candidate for the seat in House District 111, said balancing Illinois’ budget is the key to job growth.
“We have to bring that under control,” Babcock told Metro East Sun. “When we do, corporations abroad will be more likely to come here.”
Rauner called for both sides of the aisle to come to the table with “mutual respect” to pass a balanced budget.
“Our job in this Capitol is to improve the lives of all the people of Illinois through more economic opportunity, better educational opportunity and more value for their hard-earned tax dollars. To achieve a grand compromise, we must cast partisanship and ideology aside,” Rauner said.
One way the state could save money, according to Rauner, is to rein in Illinois’ layers of government and mountains of debt.
Babcock agreed, saying a study would have to be done to see which layers of local government could be eliminated to save money in District 111.
“Quite frankly it's called efficiency,” Babcock told Metro East Sun. “It will make big government leaner and compete for the shrinking tax dollars that are out there. Frankly, people are getting worn out as we ask for the same services or less services.”
Rauner also pushed for enacting term limits on elected officials – something Babcock is wholeheartedly behind.
“For House, four terms of four years,” Babcock said. “Senate, two terms of four years, max. The governor should also be limited to two terms of four years.”
In his address, Rauner also announced plans for sweeping changes in the public education system that he says would put more money into classrooms and hold schools accountable for their performance.
Democrat incumbent state Rep. Daniel Beiser did not respond to requests for comment on this story.