New Gov. Bruce Rauner calls on Illinoisans to make sacrifices in inaugural address

Huffington Post

Illinois' new Gov. Bruce Rauner began his term with an inaugural address that called on all Illinoisans to work hard to make their state better, even if it requires some sacrifice.

Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek wrote about her thoughts on the speech:

Ask not what your state can do for you, ask what you can do for your state.

He chose different words, but that was the sobering message delivered Monday by our new governor, Bruce Rauner.

"Each person here today and all those throughout the state will be called upon to share in the sacrifice so that one day we can again share in Illinois' prosperity," new Gov. Rauner said. Consider yourself served. You have been asked, dear taxpayers, to sacrifice by Illinois' 42nd governor. That sacrifice will be plenty painful.

Illinois is in a world of hurt and the day of reckoning is hurtling toward us. Rauner, a Winnetka Republican, left out the numbers in his first major speech as the first Republican governor in 12 years, but they are staggering:

  • $111 billion in pension debt

  • $6.5 billion in unpaid bills

  • A budget short by $2 billion now because Democrats, who control the Legislature, approved what truly is only a six-month budget.

  • And the next budget will be another $ 4 billion short, at least, because of the drop in the income tax rate to 3.75 percent.

See how Doubek thinks Rauner can lead this call for sacrifice by example, plus more about what Rauner said in his first speech as governor.

Besides the speech, another part of the inaugural festivities included a serenade of the governor and the first lady, Diana Rauner, during their first dance at the inaugural concert. The two eschewed the ballroom dancing tradition and instead went for a more country vibe, with concert performer Toby Keith singing "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This." Check out the video at Reboot Illinois.

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