At a Monday press conference in Springfield, Gov. Bruce Rauner previewed his upcoming State of the State speech and addressed challenges his administration has faced during his first year in office.
“We’ve had many, many important achievements this year. We’ve talked about some of them,” Rauner said. “We’ll talk about more in the speech on Wednesday. We’ll also talk about our challenges and our failings so far and lay out a game plan for what we’d like to do in the coming twelve months.”
The state of Illinois has been without an official budget since June of last year, accounting for a large chunk of Rauner’s first year in office.
Rauner said it is “inexcusable to not have a budget now.”
The governor placed blame on democratic leaders, who Rauner accuses of being “afraid to make change.”
The governor also touched on his "turnaround agenda" which focuses on economic competitiveness, job growth and pension reform. This agenda has been a point of contention for Democratic lawmakers.
“We’re not going to back down on it, we’re not going to give in on it,” said Rauner of the plan.
Despite an out-of-control state debt and a polarized legislature, the governor remained positive about his administration’s ability to lead.
“We’re managing our government to the best of our ability,” said Rauner. “I think we have the best management team.”