SPRINGFIELD -- A report from the Illinois Senate on it's readiness Monday, to pass a budget comes as good news, as Governor Rauner keeps trying to nudge Illinois forward to get in the game of business recruitment.
The Governor says several companies want to locate here, but red tape and state requirements make it too costly.
Meantime, voters describe a pent-up demand for good jobs... and a demand for action from lawmakers.
Dennis Murphy of Harrisburg has high expectations of Illinois leaders.
”For government to get their act together and let's make Illinois great again. "
He says, so far, they've failed him... but he remains optimistic lawmakers and the governor can find their way out of the state's budget mess.
"We've got everything goin' for us. We've got the hardest-working, we've got the best people in America the people of Illinois are awesome, hard workin' and so productive. We have the best location, a strategic location, we're at the crossroads of America, Rail highway air, canals barges rivers companies want to be here, we're the heart of America," said Governor Bruce Rauner, who believes the state can grow its way out of it's current mess, but only if he can convince lawmakers to ease some of the red tape and conditions that send businesses... and jobs across the state's borders.
He says he'd like to see Illinois adopt more pro-business policies, like Texas.
"Texas is where the jobs are, and I also saw some data that said Texas is the number one state where African-American residents of Illinois are movin'. Why? It's where the jobs are."
And Illinoisans seem to agree... the state needs jobs... and badly.
”Jobs, jobs, I want to see... jobs. I want the coal miners back to work," explained Lois Heisner of Pinckneyville.
The Governor takes pride in the fact that lawmakers recently started moving his direction.
"The only thing that's passed the chamber so far is property tax freeze that's excellent, that's a big step in the right direction."
Rauner says he wants his reforms to benefit both business, and working people.
"I would love to have the pro-growth philosophy of Texas but I'd also like to have the heart of someplace like Massachusetts, really good social services safety net helping the most vulnerable, I think we can find a balance."
That remains the trick here, and as he knows, and Dennis Murphy reminds us, time has begun to run out.
”Illinois was the leader in the nation in losing population. We need to reverse that trend for sure."
In fact, Governor Rauner says the lack of red-tape-relief kept General Electric from locating here. He says company leaders made plans to move here, until they saw budget deals start to stall, and no movement on issues they saw as important.
Everyone we talked to at the Capitol seems to agree, a new spirit of cooperation can change that.