Gov. Rauner delivers Illinois State of State Address

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner has laid out a first-year agenda he says will make Illinois more competitive and ‘‘empower” people and local governments.

The Winnetka Republican delivered his first State of the State address Wednesday.

He says Illinois must make changes to become more welcoming to businesses.

Rauner also wants to strip some powers from labor unions. Among them is letting local government employees decide if they want to join a union.

Rauner is also calling for a two-year freeze of property taxes and says he’s open to raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 over seven years.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature will oppose many of Rauner’s proposals.

Rauner says his plan is aggressive, but necessary. He says: ‘‘It’s now or never for Illinois. It’s time to act.”

By SARA BURNETT and KERRY LESTER, Associated Press

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