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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Criticism, Praise Surround Gov. Rauner's First Anniversary In Office

State of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is observing his first anniversary in office.

Rauner campaigned on a promise to shake up Springfield. On that account, at least, he has succeeded. Illinois is in the midst of a historic budget impasse -- with no signs of it coming to an end.

Critics, including Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, lay the blame on the governor.

"He tends to think that members of the House and Senate, of both political parties, are his middle management, are his minions,” Lang said. “But we aren't. We are separately elected officials, under a separate body that is a co-equal branch of government under the constitution."

But Rauner's allies -- such as Kim Maisch, director of a statewide organization for small businesses -- applaud the governor's tenacity.

"We are 100% behind Gov. Rauner and his efforts," Maisch said, "in general making Illinois a better state to do business, but certainly reforming workers' compensation is always at the top of my members' lists."

Rauner blames Democrats for stalling his agenda, but he says Illinois has taken steps in the right direction in the year he's been in charge.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.