Governor Bruce Rauner marks two years in office

Friday, January 13, 2017
Illinois governor's 2nd anniversary of being in office
Thursday marked the second anniversary of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's inauguration.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Thursday marked the second anniversary of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's inauguration. He is still battling to make the changes he called for when he first ran for the job.

With so much attention on national politics this week, an upbeat Governor Bruce Rauner marked his second anniversary in office. He said there's new evidence that he's winning the long budget war with Democratic lawmakers.

"In recent days, we've had some major breakthroughs," Rauner said.

On his noon Facebook Live, the governor heralded what he called a "major, positive development" that could lead to an end to the nearly 19-month-old Illinois budget impasse.

"Democratic leaders in the general assembly have now publicly acknowledged that we really do need to get structural change to our system as part of getting balanced budgets," he said.

Since July 2015, general assembly Democrats had refused to include in budget negotiations, Rauner's demands for term limits and redistricting as well as pro-business union weakening reforms and a property tax freeze that the governor said will staunch the out-migration of companies, jobs and residents from Illinois.

"Let me suggest another approach for growth in the economy," House Speaker Mike Madigan said.

But on Wednesday, re-elected Madigan indicated he would now include in the budget talks a corporate tax reduction aimed at improving the state's business and jobs climate.

"Let us lower the rate of tax on the Illinois corporate income tax by at least 50 percent, Madigan said.

"I think personally the state has been shaken up enough. And now it's time to make Illinois great again," Democratic president John Cullerton said.

And Cullerton's Illinois senate voted this week to limit the terms of that chamber's leadership.

The Republican governor--who says he'll limit himself to a maximum eight years in office-said he's re-energized by what he interprets as positive signals from the other side.

"I look forward to working on a bi-partisan basis to find compromise and to find real solutions to improve and change our broken system," Rauner said.

Rauner also pointed to the lame duck house passing a property tax freeze earlier this week as another sign of progress even though there was not enough time to get that measure through the senate.