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Senate Takes Up Gov's Agenda, Then Takes It Out

Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Illinois Senate on Wednesday began taking up parts of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pro-business agenda. They’re just as quickly taking them out.

First up was the worker’s compensation system. Rauner and business groups say it's too costly.

Steve Hoekstra is president of a fourth-generation trucking company not far from the Indiana state line: “The work comp base rate is 135 percent higher for me being located in Illinois as opposed to Indiana."

But Sen. KwameRaoul, a Democrat from Chicago, said there are some areas in which Illinois might not want to compete.

“You can’t just look at another state and say that they’re more competitive," Raoul said. "You also have to look at how they’re treating their employees."

The measure was before a Senate committee, where it failed on a partisan vote. Later in the day, the full Senate voted down some of the steep funding cuts in Rauner’s budget proposal.

Rauner says Democrats are walking away from needed reforms, while Democrats say the governor’s ideas are wrong for Illinois.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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