Last week, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner held his fourth State of the State address in Springfield and spoke about the unity of the state.
Overall, the governor’s speech was a good one; he focused on the pros of working and living in Illinois, the state’s strengths and more. If you were to grade him on the speech alone, it was honestly incredibly well done.
However, for you to give him a good grade on his speech, you would have to strip away the reality and background of it all.
Rauner’s favorite hobby is making promises he cannot, will not or does not want to keep.
While in office, Rauner picked fights with Democrats and further ruined the state’s budget.
Speaking of the budget, he didn’t address it whatsoever in his speech.
Anyway, when Rauner said, “The surest road to economic vitality and job growth is a collaborative effort to regain our financial integrity. To that end, I will submit a balanced budget proposal next month,” and the room applauded, it felt like one of those forced situations in order to appear polite or respectable.
Rauner’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year is still unknown and will remain so until later this week, so it is too early to judge. But his track record, including getting Republicans to pull from the “grand bargain” back when the state didn’t have a budget, shows there will be little to dissect.
The governor also discussed job growth throughout the state.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in the state under Rauner has been lower than growth in neighboring states, including Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
The speech was similar to President Donald Trump’s; he praised his so-called accomplishments and discussed some kind of apparent “unity” in the government that very clearly does not exist.
However, again, the speech was nicely articulated and really did seem to provide some optimism for the future of Illinois. Sure, Rauner is up for re-election and obviously wants to reach out to the Democrats or any possible floaters. Sure, the governor rattled off a list of what the state can brag about and said things like “It takes a collaborative effort,” but also successfully tackled the hot topic issue we advocate for; the #MeToo movement.
Rauner said he would sign an executive order that would “strengthen the policies that ensure all government employees under my office’s jurisdiction have reliable and responsive outlets for reporting acts of sexual misconduct.”
His comments came as many lawmakers in the chamber were dressed in black to stand in solidarity against sexism and harassment. It was one of the more sincere moments of the address.
Overall, Rauner’s address was a good one. But he really did seem to blame the state’s problems on everyone but himself. If he truly wants another term in office, he should start with himself when looking at the state of Illinois.