Name: Bruce Rauner
Office seeking: Governor
City of residence: Winnetka
Campaign website: brucerauner.com
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I’m the only candidate in this race – in either party -- who is fighting for good-paying jobs, lower taxes, and ridding our state of corruption. Illinois has tremendous potential, and we need to take advantage of that by making our state a good place to raise a family and build a business. With the tax and regulatory burden in our state, families are fleeing and businesses are reluctant to come and grow jobs. But I am fighting to change that, and I have traveled the country and the globe to bring new jobs and companies to Illinois. Mike Madigan forced through a 32 percent tax hike on Illinois families, and I have put forth a plan to roll it back. Politicians for decades have used accounting gimmicks to hide the cost of their mismanagement and pass the cost to our children and grandchildren. I am fighting to put Illinois on the path to fiscal security. Lastly, I am working for an ethical and accountable government. For too long, Illinois has been subject to the whims of a few political insiders. We must pass commonsense reforms like term limits and independently drawn legislative maps.
Would you sign a legislative district map that is heavily gerrymandered in your own party’s favor? Why or why not? No, I would not. I have said from my first campaign that I am in favor of independently-drawn maps. Illinois has been plagued by corruption for decades, and much of that is due to the accumulation of power by entrenched career politicians. To fight the corruption, I am committed to enacting term limits on ALL elected officials and putting in place independently-drawn maps to provide Illinoisans with more competitive elections.
What is your position on organized labor and the Janus decision striking down the requirement for public sector workers to pay fair share fees even if they don’t want to? I was proud to have initiated the Janus case and I believe that victory in the Supreme Court is a victory for free speech. I am pro-union jobs and I want to create more union jobs here in Illinois. I’ve been clear that I believe requiring union dues from non-members in government unions is a conflict of interest. Janus is a victory for the free speech rights of non-union workers who felt their voice was being drowned out.
What is your stance on expanding gambling in Illinois? There are many in our state who enjoy and support the expansion of gambling here in Illinois. Though I do not like gambling, I see it as a potential source of much-needed revenue for the state.I believe it should be left to the people to decide if they would like to expand gaming here in Illinois. Local control is a principle I firmly believe in, and I believe the expansion of gambling is the perfect avenue to allow communities to decide.
Illinois roads are in disrepair. How would you approach this problem? How would you pay for it? In our most recent 2018 budget, we secured significant funds for rebuilding our infrastructure. In fact, we secured $2.2 billion in state and federal funding this year alone and have laid out a full plan for $11.05billion moving forward. In fact, this year’s budget includes $70 million for infrastructure investment in the metro-east. Getting our own fiscal house in order by cutting regulations and consolidating government combined with federal funding and public-private partnerships will allow us the flexibility to invest in our infrastructure and rebuild Illinois roads and railroads.
What else should be done to address the ongoing opioid epidemic?The opioid epidemic is an ongoing crisis here in Illinois and across the country, but we are taking steps to fight addiction and death. The Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force I created has been hard at work around the state and has made recommendations on how we can further prevent opioid abuse. We’ve made Narcan, the overdose reversal drug, more available to first responders, allowed physicians to prescribe medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain medicine, and have made education of physicians a priority to prevent over-prescription of opioids. Our task force remains hard at work gaining information from across the state and I will continue to work with them to fight this crisis.
What should Illinois’ income tax system look like? What rates would you want to see? How would those rates effect the state’s revenues? Illinois has had enough tax hikes. That’s a big part of the reason we face the challenges that we do. I introduced a budget in February that lowers the tax burden facing middle class families and businesses. We are fixing our broken property tax system so it doesn’t benefit wealthy real estate owners at the expense of middle class families. We also need to give local communities more control over their property taxes so they can meet their own specific needs and attract new businesses. As governor, I have slowed the growth of government and used administrative actions to reduce regulations. Illinois has twice as many regulations as the states around us due to redundancy and overlap. I’ve already cut regulations through executive action and the goal is to cut 25 percent by the end of 2018.
Would you term limit yourself? If so, how many terms? My second term will be my last. I am a firm believer in term limits and pledged in my first campaign to limit myself to two terms. We have many accomplishments in our first term, and have paved the way for more reform in my second.