* WCIA TV…
[Senator Dale Righter, R-Mattoon] characterized the $15 minimum wage law as “economic loss” for his district and for the rest of the state. He also criticized several portions of Pritzker’s budget proposal, including a plan to legalize recreational marijuana.
Since the downstate Republican opposes nearly all of Pritzker’s budget proposals, Righter was asked if that conflict might complicate his ability to barter for capital projects in his district.
Righter says he was not in closed door negotiations about infrastructure projects in a capital spending plan, but the Senator claimed Pritzker administration staffers “have been quoted as saying, ‘You know what, if you don’t vote for some of these policies or if you don’t vote for the tax increases to fund this, then by golly, you can look forward to getting nothing in your district.’”
“I hope that’s just bluster,” Righter said. “I hope that’s just talk and it’s not actually the attitude of the administration. In the end, past administrations or elected officials who have taken that attitude, things wind up usually not working out well for them.”
I’ve never seen any quotes like that in public, nor have I heard any threats being delivered through private channels. Plus, that’s not how every other capital plan has been crafted, so I reached out to the governor’s office.
* Jordan Abudayyeh…
As the governor has said repeatedly, he is committed to passing a capital bill because our state is in dire need of better infrastructure. The governor won’t play political games with Illinois’ future, and he hopes all lawmakers come to the negotiating table in good faith to pass a statewide capital bill.