Express Yourself: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | OpenlineBlog - Paving the Way for Future Missions Beyond

Thursday, June 25, 2015

State of Illinois, Commentary By Gov Bruce Rauner

The people of Illinois sent me to Springfield to end the era of unbalanced budgets and runaway debt. The road back to fiscal sanity starts today with my veto of a budget that is nearly $4 billion out of balance and includes no reform. 

We cannot accept the status quo of throwing more taxpayer money into a broke and broken system. 

Rather than repeating the mistakes of the past — just kicking the can and raising taxes without real reform — now is our chance to transform Illinois to make it more competitive and compassionate.

The Rauner administration is proposing reforms that are reasonable and balanced, where many of the elements have been adopted by other states as well as the federal government. If Republicans and Democrats commit to working together, we can reach a bipartisan, common-sense agreement to reverse economic Illinois’ decline and set the stage for a bright future. In fact, we have the opportunity now not only to turn around Illinois but also put Chicago and its school system on a sustainable path.

Our plan builds on the compromise our administration offered before the regular legislative session concluded in May:
Job-creating economic reforms: In order to compete and grow, employers of all sizes have made it clear that Illinois needs true workers’ compensation reform to ensure that covered injuries actually occurred in the workplace and that medical payments be comparable to costs incurred under private health insurance.

Job creators have also asked that meaningful lawsuit reform be enacted to restrict venue shopping, jury awards be tied more directly to the responsible party and that payments be based on actual medical costs.

Property tax freeze: My administration’s original legislation called for a permanent property tax freeze and the ability for local governments and school districts to control their own costs on bidding and contracting. Now, in the spirit of compromise, we are willing to shorten the freeze portion of our proposal to two years.

At the request of Senate President John Cullerton, we are prepared to reform Illinois’ school funding formula as part of our tax freeze package. A commission charged with rewriting the formula would report back by the end of 2016, with the current funding formula expiring six months later. As part of the compromise, we would allow the state to pay normal costs for Chicago teacher pensions, as it does for all other Illinois school districts, in exchange for sun-setting Chicago’s special block grants.

Term limits and redistricting reform: We are willing to compromise on timing by asking legislative leaders to publicly commit to giving term limits and redistricting reform a vote on the floors of both chambers sometime in the next 10 months, in time to get them on the 2016 ballot.

Comprehensive pension reform: Government pensions are among the largest cost drivers for state and local governments. We are willing to give local governments the short-term relief they have requested in exchange for a true, long-term solution.

We can deliver comprehensive pension reform by taking elements of Senate President Cullerton’s model, along with revised portions of my administration’s plan, to encourage more government employees to move into tier 2 or tier 3 programs. In the compromise, we are willing to support Cook County's pension reform plan and allow Chicago and downstate communities to implement longer, slower pension payment schedules.

Pension reform is not a prerequisite to signing the budget, but it should be completed this year. I’m committed to it, and I ask for the legislative leaders to be equally committed.

These proposals reflect significant compromises by our Administration. They help save Chicago from years of financial mismanagement while making sure local communities without Chicago’s clout get relief. These structural reforms also allow us to begin tax reform that marries our desire to be compassionate with our need to be competitive.

We will work day and night with members of the General Assembly to reform state government, modernize our tax code and enact a balanced budget as part of a truly comprehensive solution.

Together, we can get this done. The people of Illinois deserve it.

Bruce Rauner is the governor of Illinois.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

State Rep Linda Chapa-LaVia Confirms Non-Secret She Is Running for Mayor of Aurora

AURORA - As we've been reporting for months, State Rep Linda Chapa-LaVia is running for mayor of Aurora to boost her pension and rescue her family's financial mess.

She has promised several city employees they can keep their jobs for pension purposes in exchange for support and also determined certain current city employees will be fired. Her campaign is being dictated by Chuck "Shorty" Anderson, a union thug, who wants to install Linda as his puppet.

To her credit, she admits current corrupt mayor Tom Weisner has been a complete failure.  She has been told not to discuss the widespread corruption in Aurora.

A recent mayor poll also showed strong support for former Alderman Rick Lawrence and current Alderman Richard Irvin if they ran.

Chapa-LaVia had to apologize last year for racial comments.  She has been a strong supporter of Rod Blagojevich and Michael Madigan over the years.

She is directly responsible for the fiscal mess for Illinois.


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Aurora's Previous Rapid Population Growth Flatlines While Naperville Grows Faster, Stronger

As Aurora's previous rapid growth flatlines to an "uptick" of 1.16% since 2010, Naperville growth was more than double at 2.7% during same period. Aurora's estimated 200,000 population is second highest in Illinois, which means there are no big cities in Illinois except Chicago.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Dear Governor Rauner, Stop Madigan and Cullerton...Save Illinois

After decades of fiscal irresponsibility, we support Illinois Gov Bruce Rauner taking aggressive steps to stop Michael Madigan, John Cullerton and their cronies from taking taxpayers further over the cliff.

We urge halting ALL spending that is not deemed essential for health, public safety and infrastructure. Layoff non-essential employees. Stop all grants and schemes.

Only after serious reforms are made to how business is done in this state, selectively build programs that attach accountability and outcomes that can be verified.

Save Illinois.

Rand Paul Speaks Out on Patriot Act, Fourth Amendment and Right to be Left Alone


Another Shooting, Another Murder in Aurora...Crony Cop Kristen Ziman Calls It An Uptick


Another shooting, another murder (aka "fatality" or "death") as the crime epidemic in Aurora widens with a 150% increase.

We realize crony cop Kristen Ziman, Queen of the APD, calls these tragedies just an "uptick" and both she and the corrupt mayor say crime is really down, not up.

Maybe if she weren't too busy partying and drinking wine with the corrupt of Aurora while getting rich at your expense, she would leave her luxury perch atop the $162 million Aurora Police Palace, drive herself and her "partner" in crime Chris "Duh-Slush Fund" Tunney to patrol the neighborhoods where these "upticks" are happening like the "warriors" they pretend to be instead of waiting for everyone to call 911 about the next shooting and murder.

If they need help, maybe they can pickup the corrupt mayor and cronies like Robert "Bob" Vaughan, John Cordogan, Terry Bohr, Vicki Morcos, Michael "I've got $1,500 that will buy that city contract" Nila and many more to help patrol the streets instead of exploiting taxpayers.

And, we hope they don't forget to pickup state reps Stephanie Kifowit and Linda Chapa who stood for photo-ops  and publicity stunts for a "zero murder" stat.  They should have some time now after leaving Springfield on Sunday voting for an extra $3 billion in wild spending with no way to pay for it.

They can all take turns driving the APD's half-million dollar tank if it's not picking up an order from Dunkin Donuts, it's most frequent use.

Just to be clear, we are not asking Chief Greg Thomas to be on the streets.  Someone needs to guard the palace from any taxpayer revolt.  And, more importantly, we can't have anything happen to him or then Queen Kristen will take the full throne and things will get even worse.

If you have any information to help solve this latest murder, please contact us with tips.

We will get it to the good cops that care about people, not politics, and actually work the streets.

Another Aurora "uptick" in shootings and murder:

Meet Queen Kristen: