Rauner says he would pay his own way to recruit business back to Illinois
Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that he would travel to Texas or even to China on his "own nickel" to bring companies and jobs back to Illinois.
Rauner also push for the elimination of tax and regulatory burdens on companies around Illinois, so they could use those funds to reinvest in their companies, hire more workers and expand their services.
"I'm willing to even go to China and the U.K. on my own nickel, go to Dallas or Houston, just so we can get businesses back here," Rauner told hundreds of manufacturing executives.
When asked after his remarks if any of those trips are planned, Rauner said, "not yet."
Rauner's comments came during the Elk Grove Manufacturing & Technology Expo at Elk Grove High School, where about 1,000 manufacturing and other business leaders gathered to showcase their products, to network with colleagues and to find vendors, partners and clients in the local area. Besides meeting and talking with manufacturers, Rauner also toured the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Lab at the high school.
"Your success is Illinois' success," Rauner told the crowd.
He said companies are overburdened with regulatory and corporate tax obligations, high costs for workman's comp, property taxes and liability insurance, among other expenses.
"If we can get Springfield off your backs, then Elk Grove is going to boom," Rauner said.
Mark Osterhues, a sales manager with Concept Industries in Elk Grove Village, said he was encouraged by Rauner's remarks.
"Reforms are absolutely necessary in Springfield," Osterhues said.
Abby Cheesman, chief operating officer of Skill Scout recruitment firm in Berwyn and Chicago, said Rauner needs to push for reform.
"You have to support job creation because that is going to be the future," Cheesman said.
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said Rauner needs to shake up Springfield to change the business climate in Illinois.
"If this state doesn't straighten up, many of you may go elsewhere in a few years," Johnson told the crowd.