Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited Quincy as part of a ten-stop tour of the state. He used the event at Titan International to tout his efforts to help local workers and to bash the “career politicians in Springfield.”
Rauner spoke to a group of about 100 Titan Employees for 13 minutes. He told them he is working for them every day.
“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, it doesn’t matter to me. I want you guys to have a better life, I want your kids to have a better life, your grandchildren to have a better life in the state of Illinois. I love Illinois. I’m doing this because I want this to be a wonderful place, a proud, prosperous place for all of your families,” said Rauner.
The Governor said Illinois is losing out to its neighbors (Iowa, Missouri, Indiana) because it is not business friendly. He said the state has too many regulations and that taxes are too high.
“I can’t stand to see what the career politicians have done to us in Springfield,” said Rauner. “The system is broken. They keep spending more money than we bring in, they keep raising your taxes, they keep pushing great companies like Titan out of the state.”
Rauner said the state needs to adopt his Turnaround Agenda, which is a series of proposals that he believes will allow Illinois to compete for businesses and grow the economy. They include reforming the workers compensation and unemployment insurance systems as well as freezing local property taxes.
Rauner is also pushing for new legislative maps and term limits for politicians. He said without them, the Illinois House and Senate will continue to focus on tax increases.
“A tax hike is a pay cut for you guys,” Rauner told the crowd of workers, who sat or stood stoically throughout the 13 minutes speech. “Raising taxes is not gonna solve the problems. That is just duct-taping over our problems. That is postponing our problems and making ‘em worse down the road. We’re not gonna do that. We are gonna stop this duct-tape solution they keeping coming up with. We are gonna balance budgets and the way to balance the budget is to grow the economy.”
Rauner said more jobs would come in if Illinois was pro-business, and he said that would help workers get higher salaries because of the competition for trained workers. He said the state has lost several hundred thousand manufacturing jobs in the past 17 years.
“We got the best workforce in America. Companies want to come to Illinois but our regulations and our taxes and our career politicians in Springfield keep pushing them out,” said Rauner. “We need these companies coming to Illinois.”
“I’m a competitive son of a gun and you know what, once we get these changes made in Springfield, I’m traveling around the country. I’m going to Elkhart, Ind., I’m going to Missouri, I’m going down to Houston and Austin, Tex., I’m going to Nashville, Tenn. and we are going to bring these companies back to Illinois.”
Rauner said the stop was an opportunity for him to get his message out, not a campaign event, despite the announcement of the state-wide tour coming from his campaign office. He said he found it funny that people would complain about it when he said he is putting forward ideas and the House and Senate leaders have not passed a budget.