* The governor has been making the rounds with editorial boards and others. From his sit-down with Bloomberg…
“You need to be able to discern the difference between someone’s posturing and what they really need,” he said of his conversations with Republican legislators, who came to the governor’s mansion in Springfield for cocktails. Some privately told him that “they had talked to me more in the first couple months of my tenure in office than they did for four years under Bruce Rauner.” […]
Illinois last week became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, which could eventually bring in $300 million to $700 million annually, Pritzker said. The change isn’t going to encourage more use, because “marijuana is readily available now,'’ he said. More importantly, the bill allows some drug convictions to be expunged.
“Are we safer with it legalized? Are we safer with it illegal? … I believe we’re making a more just society,” he said. “This most importantly was about criminal justice reform, expunging records, and safety.”
Pritzker said the state has set aside $29 million — the largest per-capita investment in the country — to ensure a maximum census count. A move by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to include a citizenship question could hurt the accuracy of the population count, he said. “We have to get our numbers,” Pritzker said.
At a meeting with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he’s inherited infrastructure repairs that have been kicked down the road for decades. He said the state has $15 billion in life safety infrastructure investments to make — and that’s just the start of it.
“Think about all the pent up demand and need — the potholes, the bridges they’re falling apart, the mass transit that we can all see everyday here in Chicago is crumbling — that needs to be done,” Pritzker said.
“So look, we have to pay for these things, and we tried to find ways to live up to our obligations to make it safe and then remember we also need to focus on economic development.”
That’ll mean building new roads in areas where there’s development that could go on and that there’s investment in communities that have “been left out frankly for far too long,” Pritzker said.