Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for Illinois Governor, was in Harrisburg briefly on Monday afternoon.
Rauner visited the Harrisburg offices of Liberty Utilities to talk to county political and business leaders.
“I want to get my message of turning the economic conditions in Illinois around out to the voters of Southern Illinois,” Rauner said.
Rauner has proposed a 10-point plan, which some have criticized as being vague and unspecific, which he says will be a rejuvenating force for the economy of our state.
“We have a state with extremely high taxes and at the same time unfunded schools, that's not an acceptable situation,” Rauner said. “The school funding system in Illinois is broke, broken and corrupt.”
Rauner says that his plan will restructure the state tax and funding programs for the benefit of the people of Illinois. One of the key points of Rauner's plan is the goal of cutting unnecessary spending by state government. One of the examples Rauner gave was the Central Management Service, the part of the Illinois state government that handles purchasing for the state. Rauner says that his and others studies have shown that there is as much as one half a million dollars in unnecessary spending each year by that agency.
Another example Rauner was the fleet of aircraft owned by the state.
“It is one of the largest. if not the largest fleet of aircraft owned by any state in our nation,” Rauner said.
“I plan, when Governor, to sell all but two or three planes. That will be a significant savings for the tax payers.”
Rauner then spoke specifically about his plans affecting Southern Illinois and Saline County. Rauner plans to be an energy and business friendly governor for Illinois.
“Southern Illinois has tremendous potential for energy supply development, in coal, natural gas and fracking. I intended to do my utmost to attract and encourage energy related businesses to help our state utilize these under-utilized natural resources. This will have a lot of spin-off related benefits to our economy, in the transport, food, service and entertainment sectors, just to mention a few.”
Rauner states that he plans to actively solicit and, bluntly, personally ask businesses to locate in Illinois.
“We have a wonderful opportunity, because of our geographic location, to push to the forefront of transport and related service industries in the midwest. I intend to do everything I can to make this happen.”
Rauner also feels very strongly that there needs to be a renewed emphasis on vocational and job training education in our high schools and junior colleges.
“I want to return these areas of education to our schools. I feel that this goal is very important to our states economy and to the economy of our nation as well,” Rauner said.