GOP's Rauner sworn in as Illinois governor, freezes spending

  • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his inauguration address Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill., after being sworn in as Illinois' 42nd governor.

    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his inauguration address Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill., after being sworn in as Illinois' 42nd governor. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, right, takes the oath of office from Illinois District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, as his wife, Diana Rauner, holds a Bible, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill.

    Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, right, takes the oath of office from Illinois District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, as his wife, Diana Rauner, holds a Bible, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner huddles with his family after being sworn in as Illinois' 42nd governor during ceremonies Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill.

    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner huddles with his family after being sworn in as Illinois' 42nd governor during ceremonies Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Associated Press

  • Surrounded by family, Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, center at right, takes the oath of office from Illinois District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, third from left, as his wife, Diana Rauner, holds a Bible, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill.

    Surrounded by family, Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, center at right, takes the oath of office from Illinois District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, third from left, as his wife, Diana Rauner, holds a Bible, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Associated Press

  • Bruce Rauner speaks to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill.

    Bruce Rauner speaks to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Associated Press

  • Bruce Rauner waves to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill.

    Bruce Rauner waves to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Associated Press

  • Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner acknowledges the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Rauner moved quickly to address Illinois' budget mess, taking the oath of office and then ordering state agencies to immediately freeze all non-essential spending.

    Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner acknowledges the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Rauner moved quickly to address Illinois' budget mess, taking the oath of office and then ordering state agencies to immediately freeze all non-essential spending. Associated Press

  • Bruce Rauner waves to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill.

    Bruce Rauner waves to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Associated Press

  • Surrounded by family members and District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signs the the oath of office Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill.

    Surrounded by family members and District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signs the the oath of office Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, top, his wife Diana, in red, hold a public reception with their kids at the Old State Capitol shortly after Rauner became the state's 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield , Ill.

    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, top, his wife Diana, in red, hold a public reception with their kids at the Old State Capitol shortly after Rauner became the state's 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield , Ill. Associated Press

  • Surrounded by family members and District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signs the the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill.

    Surrounded by family members and District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signs the the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Associated Press

  • Surrounded by family members and District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, Gov. Bruce Rauner signs the the oath of office Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill.

    Surrounded by family members and District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, Gov. Bruce Rauner signs the the oath of office Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Associated Press

  • Bruce Rauner waves to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill.

    Bruce Rauner waves to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Associated Press

  • Bruce Rauner kisses his wife after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill.

    Bruce Rauner kisses his wife after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Associated Press

  • Bruce Rauner takes the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Rauner's wife Diana, left, is holding the bible.

    Bruce Rauner takes the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Rauner's wife Diana, left, is holding the bible. Associated Press

  • Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana wave to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill.

    Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana wave to the crowd of supporters after taking the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield Ill. Associated Press

  • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his inauguration address, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill.

    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his inauguration address, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. Associated Press

 
and Kerry Lester
 
Updated 1/12/2015 10:54 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner moved quickly to address Illinois' budget mess Monday, taking the oath of office and then ordering state agencies to immediately freeze all non-essential spending.

The wealthy businessman told those at his inauguration ceremony in Springfield that Illinois has become less competitive and that businesses and residents have fled the state because of high taxes and overregulation. He said addressing the multibillion-dollar budget hole and other problems will require sacrifice, but is the only way to turn Illinois around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Each person here today and all those throughout the state will be called upon to share in the sacrifice so that one day we can again share in Illinois' prosperity," he said. "We all must shake up our old ways of thinking."

Democrats, who hold veto-proof majorities in the Illinois House and Senate, criticized Rauner's speech as rhetoric that was short on specifics. They said the real test will come next month, when the new governor will have to propose a budget for next year.

Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, called parts of Rauner's speech inaccurate, saying he seemed unaware of some of the progress the state has made in the past six years. He said Rauner, who is holding office for the first time, "is going to have to learn about state government" and the budget.

Cullerton and other Democrats also said it was unclear what impact, if any, the spending freeze would have.

"I don't know exactly what that means and I don't know if he does either, but it sounds great," Cullerton said.

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Rauner said he's also ordering a review of all state contracts issued since Nov. 1, cutting his own salary to $1 and declining all benefits, including a pension.

He said he also plans to ask legislators during the coming weeks to work with him on a jobs and economic package aimed at putting people back to work.

In addition to the budget shortfall, Illinois has billions in unpaid bills and the worst credit rating of any state. Its public pension system has an unfunded liability of $111 billion, and a new law aimed at eliminating the debt is on hold because of a challenge before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Rauner, a private equity investor from Winnetka, defeated Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November to become Illinois' 42nd governor. He's the first Republican to lead the state since George Ryan left office in 2003.

He told a cheering crowd at Monday's ceremony that Illinois has an ethical crisis in addition to its financial problems, and said he'll take action Tuesday to strengthen ethics in the executive branch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I will send a clear signal to everyone in our state, and to those watching from outside our borders, that business as usual is over," Rauner said. "It stops now."

Other statewide officials also took the oath of office. They are Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White and Treasurer Michael Frerichs, all Democrats, and Comptroller Leslie Munger and Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, both Republicans.

Rauner appointed Munger to replace the late Judy Baar Topinka, who died shortly after winning another term as comptroller in November. Munger will serve until 2016, when a special election will be held to fill the position.

Later Monday, Rauner thanked more than 350 supporters gathered for a private reception and dinner at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He said he'll likely need to call on them again to help push a pro-business agenda through the General Assembly - a job he acknowledged will be tough.

"We've got to persuade some folks who ... don't see the point of view of many in the business community," Rauner said.

Rauner capped the evening off with an inaugural concert featuring country singer Toby Keith and Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy.

Eschewing a traditional inaugural ball for more casual festivities, both he and the first lady wore jeans as they danced onstage to Keith's "You Shouldn't Kiss me Like This" as the crowd below cheered.

Rauner started the day at an interfaith service at a downtown Springfield church where Abraham Lincoln once worshipped.

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Associated Press writers Sophia Tareen and John O'Connor contributed to this report.