Gov. Rauner talks budget, pensions, bicentennial on first Facebook Live

Illinois+Gov.+Bruce+Rauner+speaks+at+the+Illinois+State+Fair+on+Aug.+17%2C+2016%2C+in+Springfield.+%28Anthony+Souffle%2FChicago+Tribune%2FTNS%29
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Gov. Rauner talks budget, pensions, bicentennial on first Facebook Live

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 17, 2016, in Springfield. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 17, 2016, in Springfield. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 17, 2016, in Springfield. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

TNS

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 17, 2016, in Springfield. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

By The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.

Gov. Bruce Rauner answered questions about state government issues and revealed some new plans about Illinois’ 200th birthday party during his first-ever Facebook Live appearance on Tuesday.

Rauner spent 30 minutes talking on the social media website’s popular live video feature. The video stream attracted between 500 and 600 simultaneous viewers throughout the chat.

Responding to questions sent in by viewers before and during the event, Rauner addressed common state government issues such as the budget, pension reform, property taxes, legislative redistricting and term limits for elected officials. In speaking about those issues, he repeated many of the same talking points he has used in appearances throughout the state over the last several weeks.

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Rauner also announced he is creating the Governor’s Office of the Bicentennial, which will help coordinate activities to celebrate the state’s 200th birthday in 2018.

Rauner announced the appointment of Stuart Layne of Evanston to be executive director of the office. Layne is a sales and marketing executive who has worked for Chicago radio stations, the Boston Celtics of the NBA and baseball’s Seattle Mariners.

In addition, a new bicentennial commission of 51 people will be appointed to help come up with ideas for the birthday celebration. No more than 40 members will be appointed by the governor. Legislative leaders, constitutional officers and the mayors of Springfield and Chicago will get one pick each.

The commission will replace a 77-member panel that was created two years ago by then-Gov. Pat Quinn. A recent column in the Peoria Journal Star noted the 2014 commission never really got off the ground.

A website for the celebration is at illinois200.com.

Rauner said he planned to conduct additional Facebook Live chats in the future.

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(c)2016 The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.

Visit The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill. at www.sj-r.com

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