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More SOTS react

Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Senate President Don Harmon

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Pritzker said he wanted Illinois to adopt a revolving door prohibition to prevent elected officials from retiring one day and then immediately lobbying their former colleagues.

Harmon offered his support for the idea.

“I’ve long been troubled by the appearance of someone serving as a member of the General Assembly on Friday and becoming a lobbyist on Monday. That’s a problem and one we should tackle,” Harmon said. “You shouldn’t be a lawmaker one day and a lobbyist the next.”

* Capitol News Illinois

But [Gov. Pritzker] said more needs to be done in the coming year, especially in promoting racial diversity and social equity.

“Bit by bit, inch by inch, I am working hard to reverse the harm that has been done to people and communities that have been left behind over many generations by government policies and elected officials who were content to simply ignore them,” Pritzker said.

Those remarks received high praise from members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. But they also said they intend to make sure Pritzker follows through on the commitment, especially in the distribution of jobs created through the capital plan.

“There are no other communities in the state of Illinois that have been ignored like the black communities,” Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, a Chicago Democrat, said during a black caucus news conference after Pritzker’s speech. “So we are grateful that we voted for almost a $50 billion capital bill to rebuild Illinois. … That means that this caucus will stand strong to work with the governor’s administration and urge our constituents to urge the governor to rebuild our black communities.”

* Sun-Times

In its response, the Legislative Black Caucus also pushed for ethics reforms, more money for infrastructure and education, and criminal justice reform.

“The governor talked about corruption, but the greatest corruption in the state of Illinois is the communities where black people live,” said state Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago. “They’re deteriorating, schools are falling apart, roads are crumbling, bridges are crumbling and homeowners are struggling.”

* SJ-R

The governor pledged to work on new clean energy legislation, but that pledge came with a warning.

“I’m not going to sign an energy bill written by the utility companies,” he said, a clear warning to utility giant Commonwealth Edison which has had past support in the Illinois Statehouse.

Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jen Walling

At a time when the Trump administration is taking major steps backward on climate, Governor Pritzker’s commitment to signing community-driven energy legislation — not a bill written by big utility companies — is a refreshing and much-needed departure from the old way of doing things.

We are grateful to have the governor as a partner in the fight to combat the climate crisis, which may be the greatest challenge of our time. The Clean Energy Jobs Act, or CEJA, will make Illinois a national leader in addressing climate change by setting us on a course to eliminate carbon from the electricity sector by 2030 and achieve 100% clean energy by 2050. We look forward to working with Governor Pritzker and the bill sponsors to get this done this session.

* Bloomberg

The speech on Wednesday and Pritzker’s budget address next month will serve as reminders to voters of the importance of the tax proposal, said Dora Lee, director of research at Belle Haven Investments, which manages about $11 billion of municipal assets including Illinois debt.

“The upcoming income tax referendum could potentially be a turning point for the state and to the governor’s pension reform plan,” Lee said. “It’s vital that he continues to make the case to voters over the next several months.”

* Capitol News Illinois

Illinois’ top fiscal and investment officers touted some of the economic policy initiatives laid out by Gov. JB Pritzker in his State of the State speech Wednesday and stressed the importance of continuing to balance the budget.

The credit ratings agencies’ view that Illinois has better financial stability than it did a year ago means “more dollars are going into our roads and bridges and our schools than into Wall Street bankers’ pockets,” Treasurer Michael Frerichs said.

Ethics reforms will ensure state officials are “always looking for the opportunity to stand up for taxpayers and to be an advocate for them,” Comptroller Susana Mendoza said. Her office is backing measures to address the current “corrupt” red light camera system and eliminate the “exit bonus” some lawmakers get when they leave office.

And while it is “good to see a governor talking about positive aspects of our state,” Frerichs said, “it’s clear we have financial issues that will need to be addressed.”


  1. - Anonana - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    “You shouldn’t be a lawmaker one day and a lobbyist the next.”
    But it’s totally cool to be a lobbyist one day and a CoS in waiting the next, right?

  2. - pippy - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    Looks like Sen hilton has this bill

  3. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    It will take some serious arm twisting to persuade enough legislators to vote to prevent themselves from becoming lobbyists the day after they retire. Probably the way to get it passed is to grandfather existing legislators and apply the prohibition to future lawmakers. That’s the way some other ethics reforms affecting legislators have gotten passed.

  4. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    What Rep Ford said…a downward trajectory for decades
    with few ideas and programs to turn things around…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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