Rauner’s Handout to Legislators on Policy Agenda & Public Union Conflict of Interest

The following two sheets of paper were what Illinois State Representatives and Senators were reading as Governor Bruce Rauner was delivering his State of the State Speech Wednesday.

First the policy pitches:

1. Economic Growth and Jobs Package

  • Pass a phased-in minimum wage increase of 25 cents every year for seven years.
  • Implement true workers’ compensation reform legislation that updates how injuries are apportioned to ensure employers pay for injuries that occur on the job; clarifies the definition of “traveling employees” to ensure a reasonable standard that excludes risks that would impact the general public; and implements American Medical Association guidelines when determining impairment.
  • Enact lawsuit reforms to prevent unreasonable trial lawyer venue shopping, address unfair joint and several liability requirements and provide a balanced approach to medical malpractice cases to keep doctors in Illinois.
  • Pass a constitutional amendment to cap unreasonable judgments (2018 ballot).
  • Make Illinois unemployment insurance fair for beneficiaries and employers, including legislation that cracks down on benefit fraud for those who voluntarily leave employment but receive benefits and provides a more fair definition of misconduct in the workplace.
  • Implement true competitive bidding in public works projects, limit prevailing wage requirements and eliminate project-labor agreements.
  • Restructure the motor fuel tax to appropriately invest in infrastructure.
  • Create local employee empowerment zones. Let voters in a county, municipality or other local unit of government decide via referendum whether or not business employees should be forced to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment.
  • Create a Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Program to assist minority entrepreneurs in startups throughout Illinois.
  • Require unions that contract with the state to have their apprenticeship programs reflect the demographics of Illinois communities, and to have their membership on public construction projects reflect the diversity in the surrounding area.

2. Student and Career Success Package

  • Increase state support for pre-K-12 education, especially for low-income families.
  • Expand access to high-quality early childhood education and make programs easier to navigate for families.
  • Consolidate and refocus all state boards, agencies and programs to manage an integrated comprehensive cradle-to-career statewide system of education and vocational training.
  • Launch an effort to increase parent participation in the classroom.
  • Initiate statewide task force to analyze the challenges of teenage pregnancy and loss of two-parent families.
  • Give local school boards the ability to modify overly burdensome unfunded mandates.
  • Lift the arbitrary cap on public charter schools, reduce funding disparities for public charters and provide more high-quality educational options to students through tax credit scholarships.
  • Reform teacher tenure and incentivize local school districts to reward high-performing administrators and educators.
  • Improve teacher recruitment, ensure a diverse educator base and streamline licensure requirements to bring the best and brightest teachers to Illinois.
  • Eliminate unnecessary testing and institute a rigorous K-12 student growth measure, using ACT and other national metrics.
  • Expand vocational and technical program resources and grow partnerships among employers, high schools and community colleges.
A taxpayer as seen by the Tax Foundation.

A taxpayer as seen by the Tax Foundation.

3. Taxpayer Empowerment and Government Reform Package

  • Make income taxes low and competitive with other states.
  • Freeze property taxes for two years by amending Illinois’ Property Tax Extension Limitation Law. The total property tax extension could not increase above the 2015 levy year, except for new construction or property in a TIF district. Voters would still be allowed to override the freeze via referendum.
  • Modernize the sales tax to include service taxes that keep us competitive with neighboring states.
  • Preserve a fair and flat income tax by protecting low-income families with an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, and provide additional exemption relief to working families.
  • Launch a government consolidation and unfunded mandate taskforce chaired by Lt. Governor Sanguinetti to reduce the number of Illinois’ 7,000 units of government and provide more flexibility to local communities.
  • Extend to municipalities bankruptcy protections to help turn around struggling communities.
  • Pass a constitutional amendment implementing 8-year term limits for statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly.
  • Protect historically accrued state pension benefits for retirees and current workers, while moving all current workers into the Tier 2 pension plan and/or a 401(k) for their future work. Police and firefighters should receive separate special consideration.
  • Pursue permanent pension relief through a constitutional amendment.
  • Codify Executive Order 15-09 prohibiting the revolving door from state government to lobbying and extend revolving door restrictions to the General Assembly.
  • Empower government employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join a union.
  • Empower local voters to control collective bargaining issues in their local governments and take more direct responsibility for their employees’ benefits.
  • Extend the prohibition on political contributions for businesses with state contracts to all organizations with a state collective bargaining agreement and organizations funded by entities receiving state Medicaid funds.
  • Prohibit trial lawyer donations to elected judges to address conflicts of interest in the courts.
  • Pass a constitutional amendment to create merit-based judicial selection as supported by the American Bar Association (2018 ballot).
  • Reward state workers with performance pay and incentivize employee-inspired cost-saving measures.
  • Pass a constitutional amendment merging the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer and return $12 million in annual savings to taxpayers.
  • Require more vigorous enforcement of minority contracting guidelines and hiring in state government.
  • Pass a binding Balanced Budget Amendment to the Illinois Constitution that prohibits the carry-over of past-due bills (2018 ballot).
  • Reform the criminal code to ensure sentences are commensurate with the severity of the crime, and reduce penalties for non-violent offenses.
  • Launch a bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Commission with a goal to improve public safety and reduce prison population by 25 percent in 10 years.
  • Provide additional investment in community-based reentry and diversion programs for persons reentering the community.
  • Increase correctional officer staffing to improve officer and inmate safety.

Next the conflict of interest Rauner sees in public employee unions contributing to election campaigns:Rauner Policy 1-4-`5 p 2


Rauner’s Handout to Legislators on Policy Agenda & Public Union Conflict of Interest — 7 Comments

  1. Does it really matter what he wants?

    Are there not veto proof majorities on both chambers?

  2. Rauner has shown himself to be a pragmatist in his newest endeavor of taking on the position of Governor of Illinois.

    He seems to understand political reality very well.

    He has spread his appointments around so politicos of all stripes may be mollified while setting up a political PAC with 20 million dollars to show his ability to raise funds to crush political opponents.

    Marginal political players will have to line up to vote on the less offensive(to them) laws just to avoid primaries and then expensive general election fights.

    Although the Assembly may easily run roughshod over a governor in the votes they too are political pragmatists.

    They all see the writing on the wall and know for a fact their career is over if they don’t sit down and have a reasonable conversation about the direction this state may take through responsible governance.

    Rauner, at the least, has been very interesting in the few weeks since he ascended to office.

  3. Priest,

    Rauner and the GA may be full of pragmatists, but Rauner and the GOP were only able to capture 1 seat in the GA last cycle.

    So, pardon me if I’m a bit skeptical when you say choice careers will be over if members don’t fall in line with our new GOP governor.

    To further articulate my point, I’ll cherry pick one constitutional amendment that Gov. Rauner wants to pass: The 8 year term limit on elected officials.

    Though a very lovely headline bill, this will never see the light of day on the House floor because the Speaker is running the show and, for the same reason, the GOP was only able to pick ONE senate seat up.

    Yes they are pragmatists, but I predict that the GA will play “Pin the Bill on Governor Rauner” next election cycle wherein the GA will pass a bill, the Governor may not like it, but he can’t do anything about it, and then, despite his veto, the GA will override him.

    Then, the Governor will become the richest strawman in the land next election cycle.

    Seems pretty elementary to me.

    The only way this doesn’t happen, however, is if the Governor is able to get his caucus behind legislation, in which case, pragmatism can truly reign.

  4. You’re absolutely correct Observer. I was merely generalizing. He understands spreading around political appointments and political bullying through the threat of dollars spent on campaigns is the only way anything on his agenda will be considered at all. Illinois government is sometimes about caucuses, sometimes about party, sometimes about the general need, hardly ever about societal or cultural good and always about the money. Rauner is a Republican by virtue of the fact he had the money to self fund a Gubernatorial campaign and offer logistical support to others. He is no more a Republican or a Democrat than the trees in the woods. Quinn was getting the Democratic nod and it was easier to just fund a general election campaign than an expensive primary as well. Pragmatic. Realistic. He is likely to get a little more consideration from Madigan because he isn’t parochial but he is capable of both compromise and scorched earth politics. Gotta love the idiotic state of affairs(pun intended) in which we live.

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