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Rauner won't attend inauguration, but still hopes for big things

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From ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Don’t expect to see Gov. Bruce Rauner among the crowd at Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Rauner said he’s got a lot on his mind.

“People understand, in Washington and around the country, that Illinois has big challenges — and they know and respect the fact that I am 100 percent focused in Illinois, working on getting a balanced budget with structural change to the system, and they respect that and appreciate it,” he said.

Rauner said he has a good working relationship with the outgoing Obama administration and, despite not going to the swearing-in of Trump, plans similar relationships with the Trump team.

“I’ve got friends in the Trump administration. It’s in the interest of the people of Illinois that we have a good positive working relationship with federal administrations,” Rauner said.

Meanwhile, Rauner hopes for big things from the Trump administration.

“I’d like to do a big infrastructure bill for this state, and I want to work closely with the federal government to get creative financing for more infrastructure: road expansion, rail expansion, canal work, airport work.”

Rauner said he is also interested in cooperating on other areas like education funding and reform, including school choice with “real, quality options and choices for every parent in every neighborhood so we have high quality schools everywhere in every neighborhood, critically important.”

There are charter schools in Illinois, but there’s a cap and most are concentrated in the Chicagoland area.

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