The reaction from interest groups to the State of the State address depends on which side of the employer-employee relationship they represent. On the businessman’s side, Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch says the governor has set an ambitious agenda that will benefit the state. “It’s a lot of things. Illinois will really be transformed,” Maisch said. “He doesn’t have to get everything on that list for Illinois to really be headed in a new and better direction.”
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That’s not how Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, would describe the governor’s proposals, especially banning public-sector unions from making campaign contributions, which the governor called a conflict of interest.
“Some of this stuff is rich coming from a gentleman whose put $20 million of his money” in his campaign, Montgomery said, “and now he’s signing state contracts.
Montgomery says that instead of attacking unions, Gov. Bruce Rauner should be focusing on education spending and the state budget’s problems.