© 2023 Peoria Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Illinois Republicans want to see change

Illinois' four legislative leaders and Governor Bruce Rauner are talking in private right now  for the first time since spring.  The initial portion of their much-anticipated meeting was public, and streamed live online for anyone who wanted to watch.  None of the lawmakers sounded as if they'd moved much from their previous stances on Illinois' situation.

During her opening remarks, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said government is strained because too many people are leaving Illinois.

"Our middle class is hurt by the policies that drive jobs out of the state. I don't believe this is a union or non-union issue, a core belief of non-core belief issue. It's a middle class issue. We're talking about nurses and hair dressers, secretaries, middle managers, who are suffering with the high cost of living here in Illinois."

Rauner and Republicans say they want systemic changes to become more competitive, like redistricting, and freeing local governments from having to collectively bargain with unions. 

Democrats have characterized those demands as "extreme" and say the focus should be on passing a budget.  As of today the state has gone a full five months without a budget.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.