Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner delivered the 2017 State of the State Address on January 25 in the Illinois State Capitol.
The goals that Rauner set for Illinois during the State of State Address:
- Make Illinois the most ethical and efficient state in the nation
- Invest in education so that Illinois has the best schools and vocational training in every neighborhood and in every community
- And most importantly, make our state more competitive, more attractive to job creators, to grow our economy and bring more good-paying jobs to our state
WSIU Public Broadcasting’s broadcast of the State of the State Address
Daniel Schwen, Illinois State Capitol pano, CC BY-SA 4.0
Rauner also spoke about helping young Illinoisians out so that they will stay in Illinois and start another generation of Illinoisians:
“When it comes to providing a better future for the people of Illinois, nothing we do together is more important than educating our young people. We all want our children to be able to stay here in Illinois with good-paying jobs. And we want employers to come to Illinois because we have the best people. So our administration has made education from cradle to career a top priority.
Two years ago we delivered unprecedented funding for our K-12 schools, and the next year we came back and did it again. In all, our kids are receiving $700 million more per year from the state than two years ago, including an extra $100 million for early childhood education. The practice of proration has come to an end.
We formed a bipartisan task force to recommend changes to the unbalanced way our K-12 public schools are funded. For years Illinois has provided the lowest percentage of education financial support from any state in the country. And we have the largest gap between funding for high income schools and low income schools in the country, both across the state and within the city of Chicago. The task force expects to finish their work in the coming weeks, and we look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to implement their recommendations.
We created the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth, bringing together all state agencies that serve our children to ensure that Illinois’ young people are healthy, safe, well-educated and on the road to becoming self-sufficient. The commitment, cooperation and effective problem solving among the agencies involved is extraordinary; in partnership with external partners in the private sector, they will make Illinois a better place for all children.
Working with the Illinois State Board of Education, local high schools, community colleges and local employers, our youth Cabinet is striving to expand vocational training and apprenticeship programs for all our high school students so each of them has a clear path to an attractive career.
Another critical initiative of the Children’s Cabinet is reducing young children’s exposure to lead. We’re proud to recognize Jen Walling from the Illinois Environmental Council, who is working with us on this effort, and she’s here today. On Martin Luther King Day, all of us, Democrats and Republicans, stood together in signing a bill that requires all schools and day care centers to test their drinking water regularly, and inform parents of the results. Dr. King spoke about the threat of lead in 1966, so it was particularly appropriate that we were able to sign that important piece of legislation on his birthday.”
Illinois State Representative Lou Lang delivered the Democrats’ response of the State of the State Address