CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday began laying out priorities for his first year in office, saying property taxes and workers’ compensation costs are too high, Medicaid spending is unsustainable and state workers’ salaries and benefits are too generous.
In a speech he said was a preview of the State of the State address he’ll give next month, the Winnetka Republican said Illinois is in “massive deterioration mode.”READ MORE: Cook County Surpasses 1,000 Homicides For First Time Since 1994
He said he will propose a number of reforms to turn the state around, and indicated they would involve making Illinois more attractive to businesses while slashing spending on everything from health insurance for the poor to public-worker pensions and the state’s payroll.
“This is the critical lesson that we’re seeing: We’re on an unsustainable path,” Rauner told students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “We need fundamental structural change and raising taxes alone … isn’t going to fix the problem, and in a lot of ways it’s going to make it worse.”