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Pritzker talks about first 100 days

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019

* Gov. JB Pritzker talked with several different reporters yesterday because today marks his 100th day in office. Some of the questions were just rehashed from previous interviews

Biggest surprise: How often he’d have to console families. Pritzker has attended the funerals of state police troopers, National Guardsmen and women and families of victims of gun violence. “It’s one of the greatest honors, but it’s heartbreaking, too,” he said.

Juggling act: Pritzker’s wife and two teen children have remained in Chicago, which means Pritzker splits his time, usually spending three or four days each week in Springfield.

Opening up the mansion: Pritzker and his wife, M.K., entertain regularly. They’ve hosted dinner parties and cocktail hours for Democrats and Republicans alike. On Wednesdays, Pritzker is known to invite groups of lawmakers for an evening away from the statehouse.

* The governor has said in prior interviews that he doesn’t prefer to increase the Motor Fuel Tax to pay for a new capital bill, but he’s never completely shut the door and he didn’t yesterday, either

Pritzker said he rules out a tax on vehicle miles driven. When asked about the possibility of an increased tax on gasoline, he noted that the Illinois Chamber of Commerce backs a plan including such an increase.

“So I think that’s worth noting,” Pritzker said.

While not being specific, Pritzker said, “What we are focusing on (are) near-term opportunities to find revenues so that we can have the bonds paid for that will be necessary for a major capital plan. … Those are ideas that are being brought forth by Republicans and Democrats. … Suffice it to say that there are many options on the table.”

* A bit of human interest

Pritzker, who is a political newcomer, said he misses the time he’s losing with his family and close friends. But he understands the heavy duty of his responsibilities. The governor’s wake up time? Between 4 and 5 a.m. Pritzker works until his wife or kids wake up, then spends time with them until he has to head out to events or meetings.

“I guess the biggest thing that I miss is, there are time when you just want to go spend some time with your close friends, but you know, the duties of office take you away from that,” Pritzker said. “And certainly the time away from my family — my children and my wife — that’s lost time. But on the other hand, I’ve had the great, good fortune to be able to actually wake up every day and make a difference in people’s lives.”

* Remap reform

“Certainly I continue to believe that maps should be drawn fairly,” Pritzker said, adding, “I would veto a map that I thought was an unfair one.” But he said there are “a lot of priorities that I’ve moved forward with. … Suffice to say drawing the map fairly in congressional and legislative races is important.”

* Accomplishments to date

He touts his major achievements thus far as signing the minimum wage increase, gun dealer licensing and Tobacco 21 bills, a well as introducing his “fair tax” amendment and his budget proposal. He dubbed the minimum wage law as having “the most widespread and most positive impact.”

* And

As he seeks to turn that ship, Pritzker says he has regular meetings with the four legislative leaders, speaking with each – including House Speaker Michael Madigan – “on average … at least once a week.”

“I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve reached across the aisle,” he said.

Introducing something isn’t really an accomplishment, although introducing a precariously balanced budget that doesn’t include unrealistic cuts or just ignores gaping short-term holes is an improvement over the past four years. Same goes for hosting leaders meetings. Bruce Rauner set such a low bar that any improvement looks like significant progress.

* And here he is on the separatists who want to kick Chicago out of the state

“First of all, we are one Illinois and I have fought hard during the campaign and continuing as governor to bring together all parts of the state,” said Pritzker, who has a home in Chicago in addition to the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. “There will be disagreements among some people in some counties with other people in other counties, but suffice to say that we always have brought Illinois together historically … the land of Lincoln, the land of Barack Obama. I think there’s a common understanding of who we are and our values, even if there are disagreements on some issues.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - Montrose - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    I’m sure the separatists see the phrase “the land of Barack Obama” as a unifying message. /s


  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    ===“the land of Barack Obama” as a unifying message===

    Same with “the land of Abraham Lincoln.”

    “Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy.”


  3. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Don’t see any unforced errors or the opportunity to parse the daylights out of what he’s saying…that’s a plus.


  4. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    Progress has been made in the first 100 days but it feels like he’s taking on a bit too much right now.

    Legalizing marijuana should be of the highest priority along with gambling expansion.

    The capital plan is very much needed but it’s hard to get excited about pouring more money that we don’t have into a capital bill.


  5. - Central IL - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    First, I give the Governor credit for talking to the leadership of both parties, and I do hope he is listening. Unless he is willing to push for a constitutional amendment on pensions, he can’t fix the problems we face. Every union member in Illinois should support a change in the constitution to allow us to “right” the ship. If we can’t fix the pension crisis, people (especially high earners) will continue to leave the state, we will continue to lose seats in congress (and the federal clout and money that goes with those seats) and taxes for everyone left behind will continue to go up.


  6. - truthteller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Its been so long since we had a good Governor, Pritzker is a refreshing change from any view point


  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    The First 100 Days has been a marker since FDR and the emergency executive orders and legislation of 1933.

    It really doesn’t signify much in most cases. In Illinois, all the heaviest of lifting was going to occur sometime around the end of May, no matter what.

    One quibble on language, but I think significant: there is no Constitutional process for the snake-oil separatists to kick Chicago or any other area out of Illinois; they may attempt to form a new state out of parts of Illinois, but it wouldn’t be Illinois.

    There’s probably a Separatist State Name contest that would get the Usual Victims all wound up about their hurt fee-fees.


  8. - Pundent - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    =Unless he is willing to push for a constitutional amendment on pensions, he can’t fix the problems we face.=

    Which constitution are you looking to amend I’m assuming it’s the contracts clause at the federal level. Beyond that you might want to study up on Tier II.


  9. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    He forgets to mention President Ronald Reagan but he wants to “bring us all together”


  10. - RNUG - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    == Unless he is willing to push for a constitutional amendment on pensions, he can’t fix the problems we face. ==

    Can’t fix the existing debt with an amendment. The only ways to fix it is pay it … or get everyone to voluntarily opt out for a big handful of up front cash that the State doesn’t have.


  11. - don the legend - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    LP, when you are governor you can mention anybody you want. Also, who say’s he forgot?


  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    ===He forgets to mention President Ronald Reagan===

    He also forgot US Grant. /s


  13. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    “He forgets to mention President Ronald Reagan but he wants to “bring us all together””

    He mentioned two guys who weren’t born in Illinois but who garnered political acclaim in Illinois.

    This most certainly was not the case with Reagan.


  14. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    ==He also forgot US Grant. /s==

    Is the game only open to Presidents, or can Everett Dirksen play?

    We live in a state where the B level talent was sent to Washington, and the A Team remained here where the real action was.


  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    –Unless he is willing to push for a constitutional amendment on pensions, he can’t fix the problems we face.–

    What’s the language on that amendment and what would it do?


  16. - Jocko - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    ==If we can’t fix the pension crisis==

    Interestingly, there’s been little talk about a constitutional amendment to fix the ‘bond crisis’


  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:11 am:

    What does Pritzker mean when ha says he wants map drawn “fairly” ….


  18. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    =Unless he is willing to push for a constitutional amendment on pensions, he can’t fix the problems we face. Every union member in Illinois should support a change in the constitution to allow us to “right” the ship. If we can’t fix the pension crisis, people (especially high earners) will continue to leave the state, we will continue to lose seats in congress (and the federal clout and money that goes with those seats) and taxes for everyone left behind will continue to go up.=

    It is a debt crisis not a pension crisis. The annual cost of the pensions are very manageable. The debt burden is a problem. Maybe an skipping out on bond payments would help?/s

    If your only research consists of memorizing political bullet points please don’t bother.


  19. - Jibba - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==Every union member in Illinois should support a change in the constitution to allow us to “right” the ship===

    Why should they support a decrease for themselves? The pensions will be paid, it is just a question of how. The courts have spoken about illegality of making changes. Bankruptcy is a fever dream that didn’t work out like you might have wanted for Detroit and is not possible for states. Next?


  20. - Nonbeleiver - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    Thanks. I keep saying the same thing. Of course the pensions are a real issue but the debt is killing the state.


  21. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    “Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy.”

    These political Actors are playing with fire.

    This “game” ends badly…every time…if we use history as our guide.

    The problem seems to be that we don’t do that?

    One possible and very dissatisfying answer to that problem is that there may be no solution for that?


  22. - Michael Westen - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    Pritzker is not a “political newcomer.”


  23. - Nonbeleiver - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    Making two states out of one is hardly anarchy.

    The quote used by Lincoln in 1861 was talking about withdrawal from the Union and that is not the issue here.

    So everyone wise up and cool off.


  24. - Jibba - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==Making two states out of one is hardly anarchy.==

    True, but it is starting down the road to it. I’ve seen at least half a dozen serious state-splitting plans, including California which might spawn as many as 7 new states. If even one goes, others will follow, and might generate dozens because political power is unevenly distributed in most states. Sound like chaos to you? Does to me.

    Again, the cooling off and wising up needs to be done by the splitters, who want to tilt the playing field toward themselves to get power that they don’t earn at the ballot box given the current state boundaries. For the greater good, I think extremism needs to be called out rather than ignored or downplayed.

    Most states have some sort of imbalance in power, and it is clearly better for the union and our society to tolerate differences via compromise rather than foment against them and separate ourselves.


  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===hardly anarchy===

    Says you. These things spin out of control. What happens if Democrats win control over your “New Illinois”? Another split. Sore losers are never satisfied.


  26. - Been There - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    ===Pritzker, who is a political newcomer,====
    I laughed out loud at that statement. It was a good article but while he may be newly elected he is definitely not a political newcomer.


  27. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:32 pm:

    So everyone wise up and cool off.- Nonbeliever

    That’s what I’m talking about…This back and forth based on secession talk…leads to insults…which lead to potentially violent arguments…that always end in gore.

    The history of man is the history of conflict.

    Again…they are playing a dangerous game…and Gamers they all are.


  28. - 62656 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    Rich,that is something is could very well happen.

    Ever changing composition of what percentages each party gets where along with relative changes in population levels between places could very well cause the “New Illinois” to be blue. IIRC, you posted that Lake County has traditionally been red, but now has a majority Democratic County Board. In addition, Pritzker significantly outperformed Poshard in Northern Illinois from east to west, while Glenn Poshard actually won a lot of the counties that Pritzker fared worst in.

    https://twitter.com/SenhorRaposa/status/1096921044194074624
    I see Pritzker outperforming Poshard in many Central Illinois counties also.


  29. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    We had better all lump together or we will surely split apart.

    A state divided against itself cannot stand.

    Is there an echo in here?


  30. - FormerParatrooper - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    Succession leads to War. A civil war is the ugliest, most violent, immoral type of war that is fought. No one escapes these with honor and it takes many generations to heal. We still haven’t healed since ours. Those who are pushing the idea need to pick up a few history books, or better yet go look at Somalia, Libya, the former Czechoslovakia and tell us if that is their vision for this Country.


  31. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    HR 101 only wants the City of Chicago to leave Illinois. So what is left of Illinois will be blue, since many areas that are notChicago vote similar to Chicago.


  32. - Jibba - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    Thanks 62656 for the interesting maps.

    JB won in some places that would be in “New Illinois”…think those counties want to go with the Eastern Bloc? The heart of “New Illinois” is really the southeastern quarter of Illinois, with most of central Illinois being a really mixed bag. Even in SE IL a significant number of voters chose JB. The eastern Bloc must be OK with those voters being ignored.

    The real determinant for much of Illinois is whether there is a large town or college in the county, which goes to show the urban/rural divide in our politics. That makes it hard to separate into two states.

    Somebody somewhere is going to get put into a district or state that will ignore their viewpoint. Just the way representational democracy is…you can’t have 12 million congressional districts in Illinois.


  33. - Other County - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    Only a few things to point

    1. “I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve reached across the aisle”

    When? Gun licensing? Minimum wage? Fair tax?

    2. continuing as governor to bring together all parts of the state”

    How and when? He seems to take the more “if it’s good for Chicago” approach. Not to say what’s good for Chicago isn’t good for Chicago but there’s a big difference between the more rural areas and Chicago. I’m reminded of the regional minimum wage increase he wouldn’t accept.

    3. “the land of Barack Obama”

    Ok this was a bad idea. Granted I didn’t vote for President Obama and I didn’t vote for the Governor, as a down stater in a county that has gotten more red especially after the 2018 general this is only going to cause more hostility towards him and Chicago.


  34. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    ===this is only going to cause more hostility towards him and Chicago. ===

    Yeah, OK.


  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===this is only going to cause more hostility towards him and Chicago. ===

    Perhaps you’re projecting your own feelings on millions of people you’ll never know?


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