July 23, 2014

Walker touts reforms during Illinois visit

Governor Scott Walker is urging business leaders in Illinois to push for reforms similar to those he’s championed in Wisconsin.

The governor spoke Tuesday to an Illinois Chamber of Commerce meeting in Springfield, where he made the case that his collective bargaining reforms and tax incentives for businesses have played a key role in helping Wisconsin avoid the debt problems currently crippling state government in Illinois. Without those changes, Walker says the Badger State could be facing the pension debt, layoffs, public assistance cuts and tax increases Illinois has been forced to implement in the past year.

The governor says he has made tough decisions that, while unpopular with many people, were necessary to overcome the massive budget problems facing Wisconsin. Walker says he believes most people understand that and will send a powerful message during the upcoming recall when they vote to keep him in office.

Walker was greeted in Springfield by several thousand pro-union protesters. Terry Reid with the Illinois Federation of Teachers urged the crowd to “reject the Walker style of government that attacks working families.”

Walker says the large pro-union presence shows who his real opposition is when he faces a recall election on June 5th.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:11)

Illinois Radio Network’s Alex Degman contributed to this report.