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Rauner: Poland 1st stop on tour after state reforms accomplished

Gov. Bruce Rauner leaves Holy Trinity Catholic Church with Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Peter Wypych. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

If Gov. Bruce Rauner achieves the anti-union, pro-business reforms he has made the hallmark of his administration, he plans to travel the world to promote the state — and the first country he’ll visit will be Poland, he said Sunday.

Rauner made the pledge to the large Polish congregation of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 1118 N. Noble St., whose parishioners celebrated Polish Constitution Day over the weekend.

“On May 3, 1791, Poland became the first nation in the world to join the United States in democracy and freedom by constitutional right. The people of America have no greater friends in the world than the people of Poland,” Rauner said.

“We are working hard in Springfield on reforms so we can grow our economy and get more value for taxpayers and fund our schools properly,” he said. “I hope soon we’ll have those reforms accomplished, and then I’m going to travel the world to create stronger ties with the people of Illinois with nations across the globe.”

“The first nation I will visit when I travel is the nation of Poland,” Rauner said.

Rauner is in the midst of an 11-month budget impasse that has hurt social service agencies, universities, homeless shelters and state vendors waiting to get paid. Rauner has refused to sign a budget until he makes progress on his turnaround agenda, which includes reforms that would weaken collective bargaining rights.

The Mass was said in Polish by the Rev. Andrew Peter Wypych, one of six auxiliary bishops in the Chicago Archdiocese.

“Here we are to worship God, not politicking, but we are honored to have the governor,” Wypych said.