“Today’s address presents an opportunity for legislators to think about what steps we must continue to take in order to build a better and stronger Illinois. Legislators owe it to every resident to continue to fight for the issues that matter most, like real property tax relief, affordable healthcare and better wages for working families.
“Last spring, we were able to take a number of steps to move Illinois in the right direction, including implementing an infrastructure plan, investing in new job training programs that help students learn technical skills, and passing a balanced and bipartisan budget that puts money into our local schools and pays down old debt.
“There is much more work to be done and both sides of the aisle need to continue to work together to put Illinois on the right track. It’s critical we pass a balanced spending plan that protects every Illinoisan and ensures we invest in domestic violence shelters, senior care and other important services. We also must continue to provide real tax relief for homeowners, and expand exemptions for seniors, the middle-class and our veterans.
“In the wake of disturbing behavior from disgraced ex-lawmakers, we must also act to restore the public’s confidence in government. This starts by proactively updating rules that impact lobbyists and legislators, so that we can prevent future bad actors from taking advantage of the people they serve.
“I am optimistic that we can work together to deliver real results for the residents we represent, and I look forward to seeing what can be accomplished.”