Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his first State of the State address Wednesday, talking tough about ending fraud and graft in a state notorious for corruption, and urging support for such contentious ideas as halting the so-called revolving door, the time-honored practice of lawmakers leaving the Legislature to immediately become lobbyists.
The Democrat also suggested halting the practice of legislators serving as lobbyists to other government bodies and beefing up disclosure of officeholders' conflicts of interest.
Republicans generally praised the speech but said Pritzker gave short shrift to key issues such as property tax relief.
State Representative Darren Bailey reacted to Governor JB Pritzker’s comments.
“It seems that not a week goes by that we don’t learn of new allegations of corruption within Springfield,” said Rep. Bailey. “The Governor’s seemingly well-intentioned attempt to placate Republicans simply does not go far enough. We need to focus on real, total reform to root out the corruption in Springfield.”
Governor Pritzker did not mention the subject of redistricting reform or fair maps. Previously, he indicated his willingness to support redistricting reform, and his refusal to sign a gerrymandered map.
SJRCA 4/HJRCA 15 is a fair map proposal that has received bipartisan support, but so far neither the governor nor Speaker Madigan have said whether or not they support that proposal.
“Until we see cooperation from Speaker Madigan, any effort to prevent this undemocratic process of legislators selecting their voters and not the other way around will gain no traction,” Bailey continued. “This proposed legislation is a start. I urge Governor Pritzker to take a stand against Speaker Madigan and follow through on his promise of redistricting reform.”
Governor Pritzker touted the bipartisanship of the past year as reason for hope, but there continues to be serious issues plaguing our state.
“Corruption, FBI investigations, high taxes on property and gas, are all driving people from Illinois. We need to do whatever we can to curb this loss. I look forward to the coming session and working with both Republicans and Democrats to help the people of Illinois,” concluded Rep. Bailey.