Common Cause IL Response to Gov. Rauner’s State of the State Address

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  • Brian Gladstein

Just moments ago, Governor Rauner finished his second State of the State address. Since taking office, Governor Rauner has led Illinois to the worst financial outlook in modern history. Social services have been cut to the bone, education funding has dried up, and the gridlock facing Springfield is unprecedented. Just yesterday, a top ratings agency issued a scathing report on Illinois’ $6.6 billion in unpaid bills. And with no movement on a budget in months, change is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

“If Governor Rauner is serious about fixing the problems in our state, he should support reforms that would bring more people into the democratic process, not ones that cut services to those who need them most,” said Brian Gladstein, Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois. “Automatic Voter Registration, which would bring more than two million eligible voters into our democracy, has been introduced in both the House and Senate. The Governor should be a supporter of this bill.” Just moments ago, Governor Rauner announced “The Department of Innovation and Technology will allow us to consolidate, modernize, and streamline our IT systems, to better serve taxpayers and businesses…”. This bill would do just that.

But even if every single eligible voter had access to the polls, money in politics will continue to dominate our elections. “In the end, this all comes back to Governor Rauner’s election, where he spent more than 65 million dollars to buy his seat,” said Brian Gladstein. “Until we confront the 65 million dollar elephant in the room, the voices of working people will continue to be overshadowed by large special interests.”

Two weeks ago, Common Cause Illinois and The Reclaim Campaign worked with Chicago aldermen to introduce Fair Elections. This bill would create a small donor match system that gives everyday Illinoisans a fighting chance against the big special interests. To learn more about the Fair Elections campaign, head to