February 4 marked Governor Rauner’s first State of the State address and the DuPage County Board got a special shout out for their successful efforts in government consolidation.
“DuPage County executive Dan Cronin is with us today in the gala, and he has already achieved significant government consolidation. To date, his reforms have generated a projected $100 million in taxpayer savings through joint purchasing, shared services, employee benefit reforms, and modifications to procurement practices. Congratulations Dan, you’re a role model for all of us,” said Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
The Governor was referencing the DuPage ACT Initiative introduced in 2012. It’s a three-step process of accountability, consolidation, and transparency, and this what the board credits as the reason why DuPage County property taxes are consistently flat.
“I think that’s what Governor Rauner was trying to point out, that if we were able to do that across the state, and if the state in some cases would act as the main agency, we’d be able to save money not only at the state level, but municipal and local government level,” said DuPage County Board Member, James Healy.
Saving money for taxpayers was a constant theme through Rauner’s address. He also emphasized the importance of improving education, slowly raising minimum wage, and workman’s comp.
“Governor Rauner addressed a key issue for the Chamber and that’s workers compensation. We whole-heartedly support a work compensation reform package, which will make it easier, more effective for businesses to be able to run their operation,” said Elizabeth Van Holt, Government Affairs for the Naperville Chamber of Commerce.
The Governor has a lot of ideas, but may be climbing an uphill battle, as the general assembly is mostly democratic.
“It was refreshing to see the governor take some strong stands and I’m going to be interested in seeing how the general assembly, specifically the House, deals with that,” said Van Holt. “Remember Speaker Madigan has been the speaker for 32 years and he’s been speaker through republicans and democrat governors, he knows how to cross the isle and work together and I’m very excited to see their leadership together.”
Up next for Rauner, the State of the Budget address.
“The governor will present his budget and we’ll see how he’s going to pay for everything,” said Van Holt. “So we really get to see the nuts and bolts of how much money he’s going to raise into education and really what is the platform to pay for some of these new services and programs without bringing back the income tax increase, because that again is one of his promises.”
The budget address will air Wednesday, February 17.
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