In Robinson for a brief campaign visit Wednesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner complimented Marathon refinery employees for working hard, supporting education and giving back to the community - values he says he has also tried to exemplify.
Rauner made a brief stop in Robinson Wednesday morning to show his support of Marathon's work and growth. "I am a strong advocate of oil development," Rauner said, He also referred to an upcoming company merger, and the work Marathon has been doing to grow the refinery. No details were given other than it is something that will happen in the coming months.
Rauner briefly touched on the upcoming election, the budget, and what he says is being done to get Illinois "back on track."
"We have a balanced budget, the first in 14 years," Rauner said. "With $1.4 billion for education."
Rauner went on to say not everyone needs to have a four-year college education, but training and certification in technical and vocational skills can lead to a successful path and good-paying jobs. He would like to see that training back in high schools and colleges.
Rauner said the upcoming election is important. "Get out and vote," he said, adding that voters should support candidates who agree with term limits; eight years is long enough to serve without becoming dependent on the "political machine" for a living, he said.
Rauner continues to promote business and economic growth in Illinois. "We need to be economic-based, not tax-based," he said.
He added that because Illinois is the center for Midwest economic development, when it loses jobs the entire region loses jobs. "We need regulatory relief to get more companies back," he said.
He also mentioned an economic development study done in the Cairo area, and how state and private investment is going towards building a major new port to make better use of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Rauner did field a couple of questions on how Crawford County can improve its economic develop ment, and how the change in tariff's will effect the economy.
"Crawford County is an example of growth in the state of Illinois," Rauner said. "If there are specific obstacles to business development, then contact my office."
Rauner went on to explain that his office and staff have worked hard to overcome specific obstacles and that is what they are there for.
"Trade imbalances hurt everybody," Rauner said. "We have more tariffs on us than we do on other countries. We need fair trade, and the goal should be to grow jobs in the U.S. Right now is a volatile time; it could go either way, and we will just have to wait and see."
Along with talking about economic growth and education, Rauner also talked about the importance of family, and is proud that Illinois is leading the nation by creating a tax credit for families that adopt children. "Everyone should have a chance at a family," Rauner said.
While there was little advance notice of the visit, a small group of protestors still lined East Main Street representing the state employee union AFSCME and others during the governor's visit.