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Gov. Bruce Rauner Addresses Kendall GOP at Breakfast

Apr 16, 2016 12:55PM ● By Steven Jack

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner rode into Kendall County Saturday morning on his motorcycle to address the Kendall County Republican Party.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was in Kendall County Saturday morning to rally the local Republican Party in efforts to erase the Democratic super majority in Springfield come November. 

Rauner spoke for about 20 minutes to a breakfast organized by the Kendall County Republican Party at Whitetail Ridge Golf Club in Yorkville. In addition to briefly touching on the budget stalemate that has crippled state government for 10 months, Rauner also discussed four key reforms that must happen in Illinois for the state climb out of its economic crisis. 

According to Rauner, there must be large scale reforms the in state's political and economic system along with reforms to state and local governments. 

In particular, Rauner hit on the number of local government units in Illinois, which leads the nation with nearly 7,000. That's 2,000 more than the next state — Pennsylvania. It's the over-abundance of local government that largely is to blame for another of state's dubious distinctions — the highest property taxes in the nation. 

"We have the highest property taxes in America. Us and New Jersey are tied," Rauner said. "I don't want to be tied with New Jersey on anything, especially not on property taxes. ... Think about that. Each of those units (of local government) have taxing authority, cronyism, patronage, high salaries. It's somebody's turf ... where they can run their political empire." 

Along with local reforms, Rauner also urged changes to economic policies that have caused businesses to flee the state. Illinois currently ranks near the top of states with number of businesses leaving. 

"You know the No. 1 state where our jobs are going?" Rauner asked. "Indiana. C'mon! They ain't going there for the weather. There going there because the regulations and the taxes are more pro-business, pro-investment and pro-growth."

Rauner said Illinois must reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, fix the workers compensation system and pass tort reform to lessen the impact of lawsuits on businesses.  Once some economic reform is complete, Rauner said he will travel the country and the world on his "own dime" to begin to attract businesses back to Illinois. 

Before Rauner arrived, local Republican State Reps. John Anthony, 75th District, and Keith Wheeler, 50th District, also spoke briefly to the crowd of about 220 GOP faithful. 

Anthony urged unity among the party after hard-fought local primaries in March. While Wheeler, who is in his first term in Springfield, discussed the disfunction of a state government that has been at a budget stalemate for nearly a year. 

"I don't know when we're going to pass a budget again," Wheeler said. "I'd like to actually start the process of having those meetings. I'm on the Appropriations General Services Committee ... and we haven't had a real working meeting ... to discuss budget processes since last May. It's ridiculous. It's how Springfield is set up to fail."

After the breakfast, Rauner was scheduled to ride his motorcycle with the Illinois Patriot Guard to a Saturday ceremony to dedicate a portion of Route 31 in North Aurora to Army SPC Christopher Patterson. Patterson, of Aurora, died in Afghanistan in 2012 when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.