Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to give his first State of the State Address Feb. 4, outlining his specific goals and plans for the state as he settles into office.
A year ago, Gov. Pat Quinn used his State of the State Address to dream big about his plans for education.
"Scripture tells us, 'Where there is no vision, the people perish.' That's why today I'm calling for a bold Birth to Five Initiative that will be focused on three keys to a healthy child: prenatal care, access to early learning opportunities and strong parent support," Quinn said in what would be his final State of the State speech.
Heading into an election year, Quinn used the speech as a platform to display some lofty, though admirable, goals: preschool for every child, infrastructure projects, helping small businesses, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Left unsaid was the fact that the state was in no position to launch an effort as expensive as Quinn's Birth to Five Initiative. Or that the state had continued sinking in debt despite its then three-year-old income tax increase. Or that state spending in the previous 10 years had risen more than 60 percent while job growth -- needed to generate income tax to pay for increased spending -- was non-existent.
If what we've seen over the last two weeks is any indication, Gov. Bruce Rauner will not be taking the "dream big" approach as he delivers his first State of the State Address today.
(Read the rest at Reboot Illinois to see what exactly can be expected at Rauner's first State of the State.)
One of those specific plans might have to do with state employee pay.
Two days before he gives his first State of the State Address, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a warning of sorts on Illinois state employee pay and his frame of mind as he enters what promises to be a vicious budget season.
Rauner on Monday issued a memo and a pair of presentation slides to lawmakers that showed what he says is an imbalance in state employee salaries and those of the "average Illinois working family" with the same job. The state employee salary exceeded its private-sector counterpart by 51 to 69 percent.
Another chart showed that the salaries for an Illinois highway maintenance worker and corrections officer are higher than the average paid to similar employees in five other states by 59 and 71 percent, respectively.
(Read the rest at Reboot Illinois to find out which state employee union this news could affect the most.)