MARION -- Gov. Bruce Rauner visited southern Illinois with stops in Murphysboro, Mt. Vernon and Marion.
His stop midday Wednesday in Marion came at the invitation of the Marion Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee where he addressed a gathering on the stage of the Marion Cultural and Civic Center.
Rauner told the crowd that despite the months long impasse on a state budget between state Democrat leaders and he, better times are ahead for Illinois and that the state has too much going for it not to make significant strides on most levels, especially regarding improving education in the state and the decaying state's infrastructure.
"Obviously the big discussion is we don't have a state budget," Rauner said. "Let's be clear, what really matters is the confidence that the people of Illinois, especially the business owners in Illinois, have in our state government.
"That's what we've gotta have, that's what we've got to restore. Now having a budget is part of that, but what we really have to do is restore confidence and stop this decades long of raising taxes, spending more, then spending even more, raising taxes, we're chasing our tail. It's just tax, spend, borrow, tax, spend, borrow, that's what we've been doing for decades and it's gotta stop!"
Rauner went on to say that he hears people say to him "Governor just do it - just agree to a budget. What they're really saying is just raise taxes a whole lot. And, we're not doing that, it's not going to fix our problem."
Job loss in the state is a real issue, according to Rauner, who said "We have fewer jobs in Illinois today than we did in 1999. We are not growing. The only way we're going to grow is to make major structural changes in order to give Illinois businesses the regulatory framework and the tax framework where they can create more jobs."
Workmen's compensation laws in the state continue to be a huge obstacle in attracting new businesses Rauner said.
"Our workmen's comp laws in Illinois are some of the worst in America," he said. "If we're going to compete and get more good manufacturing jobs, we're going to have to change our workmen's comp laws.
"Common sense reform. Other states have done it, we need to do it here so companies aren't afraid to come here because the high cost of lawsuits. But, so far the General Assembly has said no to that. They tell me that they're not going to vote on any of my bills to improve those laws. Then they're telling me they want to spend $5 billion more than the revenues coming into the state. This is just not reasonable."