October 26, 2017

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Illinois, Latest News

DGA Releases Fact Check Video of Rauner’s Reelection Launch Ad

Rauner’s Video Fails to Mention the Damage Rauner’s Done to the State 

On Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner launched his reelection campaign with a web video that was heavy on rhetoric and light on accomplishments. Today, the DGA re-releases Rauner’s video with some necessary context to many of Rauner’s claims. 

Watch the video here.

Underlying Rauner’s entire video is a suspension of history – namely his own history of being governor for nearly three years. At no point does Rauner talk about the state’s two-year budget impasse that pushed the state to the economic brink nor his refusal to compromise. And while Rauner talks about his wins and losses, he does not show the totality of his losses – higher debt and people and jobs leaving the state. In the end, Rauner is failing the people of Illinois. 

“With so few accomplishments to run on, Bruce Rauner has to distort his record to save his reelection campaign,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “The fact is that Rauner forced the state through a two-year budget impasse that hurt middle-class families and pushed the state to the fiscal edge. Illinois is worse off than it was four years ago, and Bruce Rauner’s failed policies are to blame.” 

BACKGROUND:

ILLINOIS IS GETTING WORSE UNDER RAUNER

Rich Miller: Rauner “Inherited An Economy” That Was Growing Jobs, “Only To Slow To A Crawl In The Past 19 Months.” According to Rich Miller’s column in Crain’s Chicago Business, “Rauner inherited an economy that, according to the same Illinois Department of Employment Security data he uses, added 61,500 jobs in 2013 and 84,600 in 2014, before Rauner was inaugurated, only to slow to a crawl in the past 19 months, despite a tax cut that took effect at the beginning of 2015. So far this year, the ‘Trade, Transportation and Utilities’ sector has lost 9,300 jobs.” [News-Gazette, Rich Miller, 8/25/17]

In June 2016 the Editorial Board of Crain’s Chicago Business Argued “By Nearly Every Measure, the State is Worse Off Since Rauner Took Office” Highlighting Pension Liabilities, Unpaid Bills, Cut Social Services, and the State’s Poor Credit Rating. According to the Editorial Board of Crain’s Chicago Business, “But Madigan is not the governor. Rauner is. And there’s no way to deny it: By nearly every measure, the state is worse off since Rauner took office. Pension liabilities now top $110 billion and are rising by the minute. The stack of unpaid bills is ballooning, turning Illinois into a notorious deadbeat. Vital social service agencies are being cut. Students are abandoning the state’s universities. Illinois’ credit rating hovers just above junk-bond range. We’re in Year Two without a budget—and the best hope for one is months away, after the Nov. 8 election. In short, Illinois needs fixing more than ever. No matter how beneficial Rauner’s idea of reform might be for the state’s economy long term, what he’s doing to get there is not working.” [Crain’s Chicago Business editorial, 6/25/16]

RAUNER’S REAL RECORD: LOSSES UPON LOSSES 

Illinois: Worst Job Growth in Region. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois had the third worst job growth in the nation, at 0.1%, from September 2016 to September 2017, only ahead of Kansas and Wyoming. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, change in employment by state, accessed 10/23/17

In September 2017, Illinois Had the 10th Highest Unemployment Rate in the Country at 5.0 Percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September 15, 2017 report, Illinois had the 10th highest unemployment rate in the country. Illinois’ unemployment rate is 5.0 percent. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9/15/17]

June 2017: Eight Credit Rating Downgrade Under Rauner. According to Eric Zorn’s column in the Chicago Tribune, “One of the metrics that candidate Bruce Rauner used in 2014 when he was running for governor against incumbent Pat Quinn was the state’s alarming slide in bond ratings during Quinn’s administration. The three major credit-ratings agencies — Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service — had dropped Illinois’ rating a net 12 times since Quinn took the oath of office in 2009. More proof, Rauner said, that Quinn was a ‘failure.’ But the slide has continued under Rauner. When Moody’s and S&P both downgraded Illinois on Thursday, it marked the eighth such move during Rauner’s term. Not just continued, but accelerated. Quinn served for just under six years, meaning he averaged one credit downgrade per 181 days in office. Rauner was sworn in a little more than 28 months ago is averaging one credit downgrade every 109 days in office.” [Chicago Tribune, Eric Zorn, 6/2/17] 

Budget Impasse Has Caused More Than 1 Million to Lose Access to Services. According to the Responsible Budget Coalition, “Illinois’ budget impasse has caused more than 1 million people to lose access to critical services – and that toll is increasing every day.” [Responsible Budget Coalition, Fact Sheet, 3/24/17] 

RAUNER REFUSED TO COMPROMISE AND PUSHED THE STATE TO THE FISCAL EDGE

State Journal-Register Editorial: Rauner “Derailed” The Grand Bargain Budget Compromise.  According to an editorial in the State Journal-Register, “And progress was happening under Senate President John Cullerton’s and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno’s Grand Bargain budget compromise, which had been chugging along until Rauner’s concerns about aspects of it derailed its momentum.” [State Journal-Register, Editorial, 4/8/17]

Illinois Had The Longest Budget Impasse Since The Great Depression. “The Illinois House voted Thursday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes of a budget package, giving the state its first spending blueprint in more than two years and ending the nation’s longest fiscal stalemate since at least the Great Depression.” [Associated Press, 7/6/17]

Rauner Vetoed The State’s Budget, Which Threatened To Move The State To Junk Bond Status. “Attempting to avoid becoming the first state ever to see its bond rating downgraded to “junk” status, the Illinois legislature on Tuesday sent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner a $36 billion spending plan in a dramatic showdown that culminated in an extraordinary Fourth of July vote. Rauner, who called the legislature into a special session to pass a budget, quickly vetoed the measure, citing its permanent income tax increase; the governor, who is attempting to salvage his precarious 2018 reelection prospects, has sought a temporary tax hike and a property tax freeze.” [Politico, 7/4/17]

Illinois’ Backlog Tripled Since 2015. According to an editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times, “$14.5 billion: Dollar damage of those unpaid bills. The backlog has tripled since 2015 and, at this pace, will reach $28 billion by 2021. At that time, it will consume 80 percent of the state’s budget.” [Chicago Sun-Times, Editorial, 6/1/17]

Headline: CNN: “Illinois Could Soon Become America’s First ‘Junk’ State” [CNN Money, 6/28/17]

Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn: “Illinois’ Insane Credit-Rating Slide Is Accelerating Under Rauner. According to Eric Zorn’s column in the Chicago Tribune, “One of the metrics that candidate Bruce Rauner used in 2014 when he was running for governor against incumbent Pat Quinn was the state’s alarming slide in bond ratings during Quinn’s administration. The three major credit-ratings agencies — Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service — had dropped Illinois’ rating a net 12 times since Quinn took the oath of office in 2009. More proof, Rauner said, that Quinn was a ‘failure.’ But the slide has continued under Rauner. When Moody’s and S&P both downgraded Illinois on Thursday, it marked the eighth such move during Rauner’s term. Not just continued, but accelerated. Quinn served for just under six years, meaning he averaged one credit downgrade per 181 days in office. Rauner was sworn in a little more than 28 months ago is averaging one credit downgrade every 109 days in office.” [Chicago Tribune, Eric Zorn, 6/2/17]