SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Speaker Michael J. Madigan released the following statement Wednesday following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s State of the State Address.
“I want to thank Governor Pritzker for offering a straightforward assessment of the state of our state. For the first time in a long time, we come into a legislative session with the opportunity to build on success. Last spring, we worked across the aisle to balance the budget; we enacted reforms backed by the state’s leading business groups that will help small and medium-sized employers grow; we created innovative new job training programs; we fought to rein in the cost of health care and prescription drugs; we took critical steps toward property tax relief; and we began the process of replacing Illinois’ unfair tax system with one that provides relief for the middle class while making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.
“There is more work to be done though. Building on this progress means we must continue to make the tough decisions to balance the budget and pay down old bills, while ensuring critical services like our schools, senior care, career and vocational education, domestic violence shelters and breast cancer screenings are funded.
“While we have seen major steps forward, we have also seen the good work of the many honest members of this Legislature be overshadowed too often by the wrongdoing of individuals who have sought to put themselves first. It’s clear that we must take significant steps within the coming weeks to restore confidence in state government. But let’s be clear: bad actors will always try to game the system and break the law. We must commit to sending the clearest sign the game is over and every step will be taken to prosecute.
“House Democrats stand ready to work with Governor Pritzker and our Republican colleagues to balance our budgets, enact lobbying and ethics reforms, make health care more affordable, expand educational opportunities to build an economy that works for all, and continue building a stronger Illinois.”