Rauner details cost-cutting ideas for Illinois, Quinn criticizes - KMSP-TV

Rauner details cost-cutting ideas for Illinois, Quinn criticizes

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner has some proposals for cutting what he calls wasteful spending in Illinois.

While critics of his former investment firm hoisted signs outside, Rauner attended a fundraiser for a Republican legislative candidate Thursday in the Loop.

Rauner had his own camera-friendly props at an earlier news conference -- chickens in a cage representing what he called thousands of dollars in wasteful spending by Gov. Quinn's Administration to help preserve a declining species of prairie chicken popular with Downstate hunters.

“Pat Quinn and his allies spent $100,000 flying a few prairie chickens into our state. Outrageous,” exclaimed Rauner.

While a Quinn spokesman said a federal grant covered 90% of the cost and that a special fee on hunters covered the rest, Rauner stood by his larger point, insisting he could cut at least $1 billion from the state budget.

The Quinn campaign mocked Rauner's proposed reductions as fantasy and chicken feather, calling them "a prank." The Governor's said he's already cut programs about as far as possible. Quinn argues that's why Illinois cannot afford to let its current flat 5% income tax rate fall to 3.75%, as it is scheduled to do on January 1st.

Some Republicans argue that would boost the local economy.

“We absolutely let it roll back. We should let it roll back. The people were promised that the tax would go back down. And we saw the largest spike in unemployment of any state in the country when the Democrats raised taxes the way they did four years ago,” said State Senator Matt Murphy.

Rauner told reporters Thursday that he'll sell most of the state's planes. He adds the state could save $60 million by moving lawmakers from pensions into 401(k) plans. He calls the Department of Central Management Services a "patronage cesspool." And he says he would merge the comptroller's and treasurer's offices to save $12 million.

Rauner said he'll be rolling out more of his plans, including a budget, over the next few weeks. He has criticized Quinn for excessive spending, cronyism and trying to raise taxes. Rauner also said he wouldn't take any salary or pension as governor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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