Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Explains His Plans for the State's Pension and Budget Crises

Illinois' budget crisis is only worsened by its growing pension crisis. Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek took a look at the plans Gov. Bruce Rauner hopes to implement to begin to fix both problems.

Doubek writes:

Much has been made of Gov. Bruce Rauner's wish to move most categories of public employees into a Tier 2 pension system with reduced benefits and the fact that he is banking on $2.2 billion in savings from doing so in the budget year that starts in 2016.

There's practically no chance of that happening and producing the savings he's banking on by July 1. Rauner 's staff also is negotiating a new contract with the American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees and his budget proposal also questionably counts on collecting another $700 million in savings from health care coverage for union workers, though there's certainly no contract agreement in sight yet.

Of course, budget proposals from governors are just that and typically are starting points for discussion and negotiation. That certainly will be the case with Democrats firmly in control of both chambers of the statehouse.

(Read the rest of Doubek's thoughts at Reboot Illinois.)

The head of the Illinois Education Association, Cinda Klickna, also shared some thoughts about Rauner and his first few months in office.

Klickna writes:

Many people have told me they are puzzled by the behavior of Gov. Bruce Rauner. They can't understand why, five months after winning the election, he is still campaigning.

I've seen this behavior many times in my classroom. It's called task avoidance, defined as purposefully avoiding something because of fears that it's too hard or that it can't be done without help.

This is the only rational explanation as to why the governor spends his days promoting ideas no one wants to solve problems that don't exist.

For example, almost daily, the governor tells local government leaders they should designate areas in their communities where employers can cut wages and benefits without worrying about unions defending working people against exploitation.

(See the rest of Klickna's thoughts at Reboot Illinois.)