Gov. Rauner’s term so far full of plans and proposals

By Caeli Cleary

After being elected last November, Rauner’s time in office so far has included several budget cuts and financial agendas for more economic stability.

Republican Bruce Rauner defeated HYPERLINK: Re-link when there is not a redirect loop Democrat incumbent Pat Quinn in the Illinois gubernatorial elections on Nov. 4.

This marks the first time in Illinois’ history the state has had a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature.

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    This race raised over $100 million dollars in the election, shattering the previous 2010 record.

    Prior to being elected governor, Rauner was a businessman working at the investment firm Golder, Thoma, Cressey and Rauner, GTCR. He joined the firm as a start-up in 1981 and helped build it into one of the most successful businesses in Illinois, according to Rauner’s website.

    Rauner was inaugurated in Springfield on Jan. 12. During his inauguration speech he spoke about the budget crisis, job creation, financial stability and education.

    He also said there needs to be a stronger code of ethics for Illinois’ politicians.

    During his State of the State Address on Feb. 4, Rauner proposed his Turnaround Agenda outlining the policies he hopes to address in his first term.

    The agenda focused on plans for economic growth and job creation, student and career success, taxpayer empowerment and governmental reform.

    Rauner began implementing his Turnaround Agenda in February when he presented his budget plan to the General Assembly, featuring major cuts for the University.

    Under the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, funding for higher education would decline by 31.5 percent HYPERLINK when there is no redirect loop and the University’s budget would be cut nearly $209 million dollars.LB

    “A budget cut of that magnitude would substantially harm our students and the people of Illinois by most severely impacting the University’s core education and research missions,” said President Robert Easter in a statement.

    Rauner also proposed cuts to local city governments, the Regional Transportation Authority and Medicaid. On the other hand, funding for K-12 education would increase by $300 million.

    Rauner signed the 2015 fiscal year budget concerning appropriations and finance on March 26. The bills cut University funding by $15 million dollars for the upcoming fiscal year.

    Tom Hardy, University spokesperson, said in a previous interview with the Daily Illini the cuts will affect research and staffing.

    “I think that there’s a lot of recognition by elected officials in Springfield of the importance and the impact of the University of Illinois and the vital asset that it is in Illinois,” Hardy said. “Yet they’re struggling to balance the priorities the state has in a critical fiscal circumstance.”

    Rauner also announced the creation of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.

    The commission was created to address the overcrowding of prisons in Illinois and is aimed at providing solutions to reduce the number of prisoners in the state.

    “We need to reform the system to stop the costly and vicious cycle of recidivism and help those who’ve left prison get the help they need to become productive members of society,” Rauner said.

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