ALTON, ILL. (KMOX) – He’s not calling it a campaign tour, but Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is traveling the state with money from his campaign fund as Democrats line up to challenge him in 2018.

“The more we can get the message out about what we’re working for, the more that the people of Illinois can create the pressure to get the general assembly to do the right thing. We should have had a balanced budget two years ago,” Rauner says.

Rauner makes a stop in East Alton Wednesday morning.

He’s long said some of his proposed structural reforms, including term limits and tort reform, are central to the budgeting process because Illinois should become a “growth” state, but Democrats have largely disagreed with that approach, saying the actual budget should come first.

Rauner’s been hit with intense Democratic opposition. The party controls both legislative chambers and there hasn’t been a state budget since he was elected, but he says he’s fighting against machine politics that have been entrenched for decades.

“What we can’t do is think that raising taxes alone will solve our problem,” he says. “It will just make it worse. What we’ve got to do is never give up, never give in, never accept the status quo.”

Rauner is encouraged, however, that Senate Democrats are starting to negotiate some of his proposed structural reforms, including a property tax freeze and term limits among other items.

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