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Rauner Looks Back On Term, Advises Republican Party To Be ‘Moderate’

On his way out of office, Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering a few pointers to the Illinois Republican Party. He also touts what he views as the main achievements of his administration.
On his way out of office, Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering a few pointers to the Illinois Republican Party. He also touts what he views as the main achievements of his administration.

On his way out of office, Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering a few pointers to the Illinois Republican Party. He also touts what he views as the main achievements of his administration. 

Listen to the story.

Rauner said Republicans need to be a big-tent party — welcoming members who don’t always agree on all the issues. That’s a departure from former Representative Jeannie Ives, who says Rauner should have stuck with party principles. Ives nearly defeated Rauner in the primary elections, building a following with a more conservative base. 

Rauner said Republicans will not win in Illinois unless they are moderate on many issues—but he warns success does not stop there.  “If you’re going to be a moderate to win elections, but you’re not going to be a reformer and fix the problems, what’s the point of winning?”

Rauner criticized past Republican officeholders for over-regulating and giving too much power to labor unions. He says they were basically “weak subsidiaries” of the Democrats. 

Rauner is set to give the General Assembly a report with his administration’s achievements. Among those, he said, is his work on unions.

The Republican spent most of his term pushing to end so-called fair share fees paid by public sector employees who don’t want to join unions. Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in JANUS v AFSCMEnon-union members won't have to pay those fees. 

Rauner said that is high on his list of accomplishments.  “Restoring free speech in organizations, in governments—state and local, and in schools, and removing forced unionism, forced dues collections, is a massive game changer,” he said.

Unions, however, say it lets people benefit from union-negotiated wages without paying for the service.

During his tenure, Rauner took part in heated stand-offs with unions—most notably the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Those fights were behind many of the difficulties he had in reaching agreements with Democrats in the General Assembly.​

Copyright 2019 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Daisy reports on various assignments for NPR Illinois. She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting master’s degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent time covering the legislative session for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues. Daisy interned then researched for the Chicago Reporter. She obtained an associate degree in French language from Harry S Truman College and a bachelor's degree in communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before coming to Springfield, Daisy worked in communication roles for several Chicago non-profits. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.
Daisy Contreras
Daisy reports on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project. She's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an associates degrees from Truman College. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.