Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his first State of the State address Wednesday, setting the tone for the legislative session. With a focus on fiscal responsibility, Gov. Rauner used his speech to talk about empowerment (right-to-work) zones, tax reform, pro-business initiatives like workers’ compensation reform and civil justice reform, a minimum wage hike, and tax code improvements.
The address can be seen here.
In response, our friends at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce issued a statement shortly after the speech:
“The Illinois Chamber and the business community it represents should be encouraged by what Gov. Bruce Rauner said in his first State of the State address. For example, [Gov.] Rauner identified several pro-business initiatives such as real worker’s compensation reform and civil justice reform. Businesses need to thrive if we want the state’s economy to improve, so this is good news. The bottom line for state government is fiscal stability.”
This is the bold change that job creators and job providers have been looking for. This is a sign to the state’s and the nation’s employers that this is a new day in Illinois. We remain committed to adding our voice to the legislative process as these proposals move forward. We hope this is the beginning of a new era of bi-partisan cooperation.”
According to the Chamber, a couple of other “must-do’s” are Medicaid reform and pension reform. Medicaid liabilities continue to grow despite the reforms we passed previously that were rolled back by the legislature. For example, the Chamber noted that Medicaid liability doubled between FY03 and FY15, growing from $6.4 million to $12.7 million.