* Jen Lask at WCIA…
Governor Pritzker sounded off on State Sen. Darren Bailey’s campaign kick-off event that took place Monday night with a mostly maskless crowd.
“I heard that that announcement last night was in a room of hundreds of people and no one was wearing a mask,” Pritzker said at an event on Tuesday. “So I am concerned about a super spreader event being caused by someone who’s running for governor.”
This is the second event Bailey has held in Effingham this month with a largely maskless crowd. The first was a forum on February 8th. At that event, WCIA Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Maxwell pressed him on concerns of coronavirus transmission.
“As a matter of fact, my jacket’s sitting over there,” Bailey told him at the event. “I carry the mask with me everywhere. I wear it when I feel like I need to wear it. There are places, you know, that mandate it and if I need to go in there, I did this from day one, I’ve always had a mask and got one of my masks.”
But, as Lask reports, there is a mask mandate at the Keller Convention Center, which was the Monday night venue.
* Pritzker used that “super spreader” line to preface his answer to these Bailey rally comments…
Governor Pritzker says, he admits that we’ve lost population for years. But he says it’s no big deal. 150,000 people is not a trickle, governor. It’s a torrent. That’s more population than the combined cities of Aurora, Naperville, Joliet, Rockford and Springfield. Gone. People are leaving our state not because of problems with our state, they’re leaving our state because of problems of a failed government.
I don’t think he meant to say “combined.”
I’ve been working on this since day one. This was a problem before I became governor. I think you all know that we had more people leaving the state than coming to the state. We had a significant deterioration of immigration to the state over the last several years as a result of former President Trump and his policies.
What I’ve been working on is making sure that we’re attracting and keeping students in the state because that’s been part of the numbers of people who have left the state. Many students who are eligible to go to school at a reduced rate in the state of Illinois, get a better deal leaving the state to go to another school, out of state. That shouldn’t be and that’s why I’ve increased every year the amount that we put into our scholarships and made it easier at the schools for kids who are at median income levels and families are or below to get a free education. And we’ve seen that at many of our universities now since I took office.
So these are that’s just one way that we’re trying to make it better for the state to attract more people to the state, to keep people in the state.
And lastly, I think it’s very important to recognize that building jobs from the ground up, building up our small businesses, which is really where most of the job growth takes place in every state all across the United States, that is what we ought to be focused on. And in the wake of the pandemic, that’s where we ought to be putting our resources.
You know I’ve talked about the corporate loopholes that we need to close in order to balance our budget. The corporate loopholes that were closing, the vast majority of that is all about and effects the largest corporations, who we all know did extraordinarily well during this pandemic. Wealthy people and wealthy corporations did very very well. You know who got hurt? It’s everybody who earns roughly $40,000 and under. We need to be able to create new jobs, new businesses and make sure that those folks have an opportunity to get a job, a new job or the job back that they already had.