You and I knew Illinois’s political system was broken. But I have to admit it’s even worse than I thought – and that’s saying something because I thought it was pretty bad.
You supported me because I said I was willing to stand up to the status quo and do what’s right to fix Illinois. That’s exactly what I’ve tried to do for the past year and a half, and I’m going to keep on doing it.
I’m standing with the taxpayers, job creators and concerned parents across the state who are sick and tired of the failed status quo.
While a tremendous amount of work remains, we’ve taken significant steps toward reform over the past year, including:
• Streamlined and modernized government operations, saving taxpayers more than $800 million in annual costs.
• Initiated transformation of the way Medicaid and other health and human services are provided in Illinois, making them more efficient and effective for our most vulnerable families.
• Increased state support for early childhood and K-12 education to record levels.
• Negotiated innovative new contracts with 18 government labor unions, eliminating costly work rules and automatic pay raises while implementing merit pay and bonuses based upon taxpayer saving.
• Defeated AFSCME’s legislative attempt to kick us out of contract negotiations, saving taxpayers $3 billion over the next four years.
• Defeated Madigan’s attempt to pass a $7 billion-deficit budget that would have caused spending to rise beyond even our current court-mandated level.
• Created strong incentives in the stopgap spending plan for the legislature to pass comprehensive pension reform by next January.
There is much work to be done, but we are proud of what our team has accomplished in the first 18 months. As I travel the state each week, people everywhere say to me, “Governor, stay strong, don’t give in, don’t back down. You are on the right track.”
Illinoisans understand that we need to repair our broken political system in order to fix what ails our state.
That’s why we’re launching a long-term movement to fix Illinois, starting with term limits. Nearly 80 percent of Illinoisans support term limits for elected officials. It’s time Springfield heard taxpayer voices. FixIllinois.com will be the online home base for this movement.
We have a long road ahead of us, but I’m all in. Will look forward to keeping you updated as our work progresses.