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Question of the day

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release from yesterday…

On Monday, Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch traveled to the White House for a roundtable discussion with the historic five Black speakers from across the country. This meeting provided an opportunity for the speakers to discuss policy priorities and how to effectively work with the Biden administration.

“I truly enjoyed this roundtable discussion with fellow history makers as we aim to strengthen our working relationship with each other and this administration,” said Speaker Welch. “We are all ‘firsts’ in our states’ political history; like those before us who first blazed trails into the halls of power, we carry the expectation that we use these opportunities afforded to us to create more opportunities for all those who will follow us. We feel the ever-pressing desire to build a more equitable and just society in each of our respective states, and we know that if we work together, consensus can be built. I’m grateful that we have the luxury of working with a president who has been a partner to Black history makers, and who is fighting to protect everyone – no matter where you’re from, the color of your skin, how you choose to worship, or whom you love. Despite current efforts in other states to repeal our progress or hide from our history, we must use our collective voices to push forward in our daunting, yet noble cause to build a more perfect union.”

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, hosted Speaker Welch, Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross of Maine, Speaker Adrienne Jones of Maryland, Speaker Joe Tate of Michigan, and Speaker Carl Heastie of New York.

“President Biden and Vice President Harris have ushered in some of the most significant federal legislation in decades and recognize the importance of a federal-state partnership to implement many of these critical laws,” said Director Chavez Rodriguez. “From economic opportunity, including lowering costs and expanding housing access and affordability, to voting rights, gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and reproductive rights, Administration and state leaders are aligned on an ambitious policy agenda.”

Monday’s discussion included open, candid conversations about challenges each respective state is facing, while also celebrating the progress that’s been made collectively as a nation. Speaker Welch highlighted Illinois’ historic criminal justice reform legislation, the assault weapons ban, efforts to rebuild Illinois’ fiscal house, and the state’s commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose.

* Coverage from The Grio

The New York speaker said he would also like to see the federal government forgive some of the $8 billion in unemployment loan debt his state owes the federal government.

“The federal government was very generous in helping the states throughout the pandemic, but every state doesn’t have the same need,” Heastie asserted. “If we were able to forgive the debt, it would be a tremendous boost to small businesses who are still struggling throughout the pandemic.”

My first reaction when I read that quote yesterday was, “No way! Illinois got itself out of its UI hole and NY should, too!”

Then I stopped myself because I realized I sounded like people in other states when a certain Illinois Senate President asked DC for a pension bailout.


* The Question: Is there anything specific you’d like DC to do for Illinois right now? Explain your reasoning.


  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    Can we please move Ft. Benning and Ft. Hood to Illinois before the “national divorce” happens?

    And anytime the good folks in Washington want to take a stab at reforming the broken immigration system or passing a federal assault weapons ban (re-ban?) that would also be welcome.

  2. - Politix - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    Transportation funding for current and new infrastructure, plus a statewide transportation assessment and planning initiative that takes us to 2050.

  3. - Crash - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:53 pm:

    My usual request. More infrastructure funding.
    Illinois can always use help when it comes to highways, bridges, harbors and similar things.

  4. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    water water water. any and all things that protect Lake Michigan, our state’s most important resource and which make productive use of the resource. the advantage of a great fresh water source may be lost on folks as we see epic rain in California and storms in the South, but it is a prized asset that must be protected.

  5. - Say it! - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:57 pm:

    Lift the SALT cap. It’s a tax surcharge for donor states.

  6. - Give Us Barabbas - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    Help the Cairo Port project get built, fast.

    Get Army COE to put in meaningful Asian Carp barriers to the rivers reaching Lake Michigan. It means a rebuild or portage around a lock and dam.

    Throw more funding at mental hospitals and veteran’s homes, and fund some adequate housing and staffing for DCFS wards.

  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:01 pm:

    Not specific to Illinois only, but it would help Illinois.

    Reschedule Cannabis and remove it from being a class I controlled substance.

  8. - levivotedforjudy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:12 pm:

    Not just Illinois, but to the states that are dealing with a large influx of immigrants and who are also the destinations that the Governor’s of Florida and Texas are sending immigrants to. We need federal assistance for health care, temporary housing, etc… Ask the coalition of not-for-profits that was formed in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village to deal with this for specifics if they don’t know in the Beltway. They are on the front lines of this.

  9. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:13 pm:

    Full funding for Illinois/Fox river restoration; not just feasibility or limited work. $17,300,000 for some of the most valuable water resources in Illinois - should be a no-brainer.

  10. - Jibba - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:13 pm:

    Ban tax breaks that allow poaching of businesses from one state to another.

  11. - Stuck in Celliniland - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:13 pm:

    Give us all the money now to fast track the improvement of 55/72 around Springfield, getting it widened to at least 3 lanes each way and all. Also other essential but long-delayed traffic projects that need to be built in the Springfield area.

    Also the Feds could go ahead and give us all the funding for a one-time only complete bailout of the state pension system.

  12. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:24 pm:

    How about blocking the McCaskey Dome and barring the numbskulls in the corner office from making lousy draft picks.

  13. - Madigan's Apple - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    End “Right to Work” nationally. It’s been a race to the bottom pitting one state against another for too long.

  14. - CentralILCentrist - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:33 pm:

    Funding allotment for school improvement/construction. I’d even be fine if they tied it into consolidation efforts. Combine some smaller districts and split the savings between new buildings and transportation of the students.

  15. - Jerry - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:41 pm:

    Agree with Amelia and The Invisible Man.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:42 pm:

    Assist in the financial formula to change a property based tax for schools to a state based formula, with the Feds giving a one time “grant” to square corners one fiscal year.

    Fixes school funding, gives property tax relief, one year prep, and total restructuring of school funding.

  17. - Not Pete Roselle - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:16 pm:

    We’re a “net payer” state. I’d like the federal government to ensure that’s not the case any more in some capacity.

    Don’t much care how. Infrastructure makes sense, would happily take federal office presences, education funding bumps, grants for pet projects…I don’t care. Whatever, just proportionally spend here tied to our tax contributions without taking away from other states.

  18. - DuPage - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:16 pm:

    Get federal funding approved for the I57 to I65 direct by-pass. It was put on the back burner by Rauner in one of his schemes to “give up $9 federal matching funds to save $1 in state funds”.

  19. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    The easiest thing for them to give us is a massive upgrade of rail freight safety. We move a lot of freight through populated areas of the state. After paying to clean up East Palestine the rail companies may think better safety is good for profits.

  20. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:37 pm:

    Agree with ow at 1:42.

  21. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:38 pm:

    Pay Illinois coal companies to stop.digging and exporting.

  22. - ChicagoBars - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:39 pm:

    Extend the time for State and local governments to spend the money from CARES Act and pandemic grants by a year or two.

  23. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    Way too big of an ask, but could the GOP not sabotage the government again, by pretending to be fiscally conservative and jamming spending cuts into what should be a clean raising of the debt limit?

  24. - leo21 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 5:53 pm:

    Can we get one of those chip plants? Preferably in the Chicago Southland. Ohio doesn’t seem to appreciate theirs. We won’t make the same mistake.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* Yes on operations and capital spending, No on revenues to pay for it
* Giannoulias on House floor while bill goes down
* Some budget react
* Governor rebuffs Rep. Crespo’s worries of future fiscal cliff
* Coverage roundup: House sends $53.1 billion FY25 budget to the governor
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Welch: 'No one's ever said the House is boring'
* House passes budget 65-45 - BIMP passes 62-46 - Grocery tax elimination sails 86-20 - Revenue omnibus put on postponed consideration - Motion to reconsider passes - But big problem and Dems will have to suspend the rules - Concurrence motion finally passes as GOP gives up
* Yesterday's stories

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