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NORMAL — Gov. Bruce Rauner used a local beer hall Saturday to exemplify economic growth in the state.

“Destihl is a great success story we can reproduce hundreds of times by cutting red tape, eliminating restrictions on businesses and freeing them up to grow,” said Rauner.

Destihl Brewery, 1200 Greenbriar Drive, has started shipping its local beer to 22 states and recently shipped an order to South Korea for the Olympics.

“This facility proves growth still can happen in the state and will happen in the state. We do believe in the future of our business staying in the Midwest and Illinois,” said Matt Potts, Destihl founder and CEO.

The governor spoke with visitors, then toured the facility with Rep. Dan Brady, Sen. Bill Brady, Sen. Jason Barickman, all Bloomington Republicans, before speaking to reporters about economic growth, the state budget and lowering taxes.

Rauner said bringing more business to McLean County was facilitated by lawmakers “reducing the redundant and highly restrictive regulations” that hinder companies, especially for small businesses.

“I’m very proud that I and our team worked hard to recruit Brandt Industries to come to McLean County and open a great new company headquarters. We also worked hard to bring Rivian into the old Mitsubishi plant which we plan to fill with good, high-paying automotive jobs,” said Rauner.

“This is a time of acknowledging and really celebrating the success we’ve had in bringing businesses to the hardworking people here in Central Illinois.”

Rauner said the key to drawing more residents to the area and state is to bring down the tax burden.

The governor said he plans to address the steps to reducing property taxes and income taxes in his State of the Budget address on Feb. 14.

“(The budget) will be balanced. It will live within our means and it will show some reforms where we can begin the process of reducing our income tax burden,” he said. “If we can bring down our property taxes so our entrepreneurs and working families aren’t so hurt, we’ll have a lot more companies coming here with good-paying jobs.”

Twin City school officials have voiced concerns over this plan because property taxes are the largest supplier of funds for public school districts.

“We can bring down our property taxes while increasing funding for our schools,” said Rauner. “We’ll do that by having the state step up and do more. Our state government has not been doing it’s fair share of funding our schools.”

Also during the State of the Budget address, Rauner said he will discuss the need to end deficit spending.

“Try to elect pro-reform officials and members of the General Assembly. Anyone running for the General Assembly should be held accountable to drive change in our state,” he said. “Those changes can restore public confidence and competitiveness as an economy and allow us to grow very quickly.”

Follow Julia Evelsizer on Twitter: @pg_evelsizer

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Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for The Pantagraph.

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