Bruce Rauner Unveils Unspecific Reform Plans

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By Fanna Haile-Selassie
By Jared Roberts

WSIL TV -- Republican candidate Bruce Rauner has released a 10-step plan that he says cuts wasteful spending in Illinois. But many critics are already suggesting it doesn't go nearly far enough. By Rauner's own account, it would only save the state $1 billion, far less than what's needed.

Until now, Rauner has had the opportunity to sit back and point fingers at an unpopular administration. As election day inches closer, though, voters are demanding more from Rauner. So on Thursday, he unveiled a list of 10 steps to reform state government, but it's far from defined.
 
"It's pretty clear that he's got to say more. If he's not going to raise taxes, then I think he owes the people of Illinois some specifics about what he wants to cut. It's not going to be pleasant, nobody's going to like it, but it's time people be told the truth," says David Yepsen with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
 
In the plan, Rauner describes initial reform ideas, like making spending more transparent, eliminating the state's plane and shuttle services, and shifting lawmakers into a defined contribution pension plan.
     
"We should freeze the current system and then create a second pension for their future work," Rauner said last week when he was in Chester. "So they'll get two pensions, one defined benefit plan through today, whatever they've accrued and protect that, and have a second pension plan that's a defined contribution plan for future work."
 
Rauner also said he would forgo a salary and pension as governor.
     
Yepsen says he expects to hear more details from both candidates in the coming months, but he says as of now, Rauner has a reason to hold back.
 
"Bruce Rauner leads Pat Quinn by a few points in this race, so he's not interested in saying anything that alienates voters," says Yepsen. "He's got a lead he's trying to sit on. Pat Quinn and the democrats are trying to trip him up, get him to say things that will make people mad."
 
Governor Quinn's office put out a statement, calling Rauner's plan a ploy and insisting Quinn is the only one who has made tough decisions.
 
Communications Director Brooke Anderson said, "What Bruce Rauner released is a giant prank on the public meant to hide the absence of any real plan to deal with the massive structural challenges facing Illinois."
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