Education, better business environment among topics of 2016 State of the State Address

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ILLINOIS - Lawmakers, state officials, organizations, and citizens gathered in Springfield to attend Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's second State of the State Address on January 27.

Among the topics for this year's address included Illinois economy, reducing property tax burden for taxpayers, term limits, redistricting reform, education, criminal justice system reforms, and state pension plans.  

Governor Rauner says he is asking for "a return to balance in this state" in order to help Illinois be more competitive for employment opportunities.  Rauner suggested making changes to the worker's compensation program and freezing property taxes for homeowners and small business owners.

Rauner also urged state lawmakers to pass Illinois Senate President John Cullerton's pension proposal, which would "save $1 billion per year from four of the state's pension plans."

Governor Rauner also highlighted several goals to benefit education throughout the state, including providing proper funding for early childhood education, implementing support programs for more quality school choice options for low-income children, and to create a Cabinet on Children and Youth.

In a news release, State Senator Andy Manar said, "“The governor’s firm commitment to embrace school funding reform is a major, positive step to end this decades-old crisis, prioritize the real needs of students and ensure that every child has the same access to opportunities."

Prior to the start of Rauner's address, several rallies gathered at the Illinois State Capitol to call for the end to the state budget impasse for this fiscal year, which began last July.

We will have team coverage of Governor Rauner's address on WAND News at 4, 5, and 6.

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