Governor Rauner Speaks Out

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2016



SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner penned the following public letter to the state’s employees, explaining his reasoning for vetoing HB 580 Monday:


For too many years, Illinoisans have been misled. Each of you in state government has been misled. Taxpayers who fund government have been misled. Recipients of public services, including our most vulnerable residents, have also been misled. The consequences are before us, and they are dire.

I ran for office to right these wrongs. I believe that solving our state’s crisis requires a simple first step – for someone to tell the truth. So here it is.

The truth is that Illinois is broke. Our taxpayers, who pay the highest property taxes in the nation, are maxed out and local governments continue to raise property taxes.

Expanding the size of government faster than middle-class paychecks are growing is a failing strategy. That is why I have no choice but to veto AFSCME’s arbitration bill, HB580.

It’s not because I don’t want to see you earn a better living today. I do. I veto HB580 because I want to protect the pension system that you are counting on for your retirement.

If I signed this bill, I would be subjecting all taxpayers to another $3 billion in higher taxes. That makes no sense when too many jobs have been leaving Illinois, and those hardworking Illinoisans that remain see their incomes falling.

We can make Illinois a state where our employees receive the pension benefits they were promised, where our budget is truly balanced through strong economic growth rather than destructive tax hikes, and where our state workers are not forced to work in decaying buildings with technology that is older than my children and furniture that is older than me.

I pledged on my first day in office to build a partnership with state employees, and that is exactly what we have done. Our 1970s computers are being replaced with next generation technology. With the General Assembly’s help, I pledged to put the Thompson Center up for sale and move employees to more modern space. We pushed for more flexible scheduling and ended Rod Blagojevich’s corrupt hiring system.

When Attorney General Madigan sought to shut off pay, Comptroller Munger and I defeated that misguided attack on state employees. And I have called on the General Assembly to honor Governor Quinn’s failed promise of wage increases from 2011. We must respect our commitments and not make new commitments that we cannot afford.

We also sought employees’ ideas for improvements and savings, prompting us to send out the first-ever state employee survey. The results were eye-opening.

You told me that promotions and compensation are not based on merit. You told me that agencies don’t reward creativity and innovation. I want to reward hard work and ingenuity. Unfortunately, union leadership is blocking many of these common sense ideas – ideas that you want. Rest assured, I heard your desire for these reforms loud and clear.

So my administration took action. We launched a truly meaningful merit pay program. We started a gainsharing program that will reward state employees for helping save taxpayers’ money. We implemented a “rapid results” system that removes obstacles to employee innovation and allows employees to personally change processes that impede good customer service.

But as I have noted, with a truly historic budget deficit and skyrocketing debt, our taxpayers cannot afford the added spending pressure of huge wage and health insurance increases. That is why I must veto HB580, ensuring that the legal process agreed to with AFSCME leaders and currently underway before the Labor Board, is allowed to proceed and fairly resolve any outstanding issues.

But I make this pledge: The State will honor its promises to you. We will continue to listen and build a workplace that values and rewards hard work, innovation, and creativity, all in a welcoming work environment. We will keep fighting to get you paid in full and on time. And we will continue to stand for fiscal discipline so that you and your families can again know you are, finally, being told the truth.


Illinois is broke because it has the most corrupt Democrat government, and has had it for the longest time. State politicians work diligently to get re-elected. Most consider their offices as a profession that belongs to them. Many pass their posts to their children to keep the family business running. They cleverly manipulate State workers with perks and money to insure they help to get them re-elected year after year. Illinois is as close to being a socialist state as one can get. We are an example to the rest of the country. Look at us and ask, do I want to be a tax-slave working to line the pockets of the faithful dominions of elites who are running our state?


PSA-160518-World Diets


For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.
> 1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
> 2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
> 3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
> 4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans…
> 5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
> CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

The Last Ones

This essay struck home because I was born in the time period it is about. I agree with everything the author claims, except for one thing, that is the ducking down under our desks for a bomb drills. Maybe the nuns that taught us did not read the news or or hear news reports. Perhaps they just trusted that God would protect us in the event, but I never heard of anyone in my school ever hiding under his desk to protect himself against an A-bomb. Now, that I think about it the nuns probably knew that the desk would provide little protection against any bomb, and let it be, it is called common sense.



Children of the 1930s & 1940
“The Last Ones”
A Short Memoir

Born in the 1930s and early
1940s, we exist as a very special age cohort.
We are the “last ones.” We are the last,
climbing out of the depression, who can remember the
winds of war and the war itself with fathers and
uncles going off. We are the last to remember
ration books for everything from sugar to shoes to
stoves. We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin
cans. We saw cars up on blocks because tires
weren’t available. My mother delivered milk in
a horse drawn cart. We are the last to hear
Roosevelt’s radio assurances and to see gold stars
in the front windows of our grieving neighbors.
We can also remember the parades on
August 15, 1945; VJ Day.
We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war build their
Cape Cod style houses, pouring the cellar,
tar papering it over and living there until they
could afford the time and money to build it out.
We are the last who spent childhood without television;
instead imagining what we heard on the radio.
As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood
“playing outside until the street lights came on.”
We did play outside and we did play on our own.
There was no little league.
The lack of television in our early years meant,
for most of us, that we had little real understanding
of what the world was like. Our Saturday afternoons,
if at the movies, gave us newsreels of the war and the
holocaust sandwiched in between westerns and
cartoons. Newspapers and magazines were written for
adults. We are the last who had to find out for ourselves.
As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.
The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an
education and spurred colleges to grow. VA loans
fanned a housing boom. Pent up demand coupled
with new installment payment plans put factories to
work. New highways would bring jobs and mobility.
The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in
politics. In the late 40s and early 50’s the country
seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order
as it gave birth to its new middle class. Our parents
understandably became absorbed with their own new lives.
They were free from the confines of the depression and
the war. They threw themselves into exploring
opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren’t neglected but we weren’t today’s
all-consuming family focus. They were glad we played
by ourselves ‘until the street lights came on.’
They were busy discovering the post war world.
Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected
virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide
we simply stepped into the world and went to find out.
We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity;
a world where we were welcomed. Based on our naïve belief
that there was more where this came from, we shaped
life as we went.
We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future.
Of course, just as today, not all Americans shared
in this experience. Depression poverty was deep
rooted. Polio was still a crippler. The Korean War
was a dark presage in the early 1950s and by
mid-decade school children were ducking under
desks. China became Red China. Eisenhower
sent the first “advisors” to Vietnam. Castro set-up
camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.
We are the last to experience an interlude when
there were no existential threats to our homeland.
We came of age in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, climate
change, technological upheaval and perpetual
economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with
insistent unease. Only we can remember both a
time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world
was secure and full of bright promise and
plenty. We experienced both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time the world was getting
better not worse .

We did not have it easy. Our wages were low, we
did without, we lived within our means, we worked
hard to get a job, and harder still to keep
it. Things that today are considered
necessities, we considered unreachable
luxuries. We made things last. We fixed,
rather than replaced. We had values and did
not take for granted that “Somebody will take care
of us”. We cared for ourselves and we also
cared for

We are the ‘last ones.’


Nowhere Else to Go

Wait Until Those Born Before 1945 are Dead