CHICAGO, Ill. – State Rep. Margaret Croke, D-Chicago, issued the following statement Wednesday after Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s annual budget address:
“As we go to the negotiating table to craft the next budget, I want my priorities to be clear: we must fully fund pensions, pay back unpaid bills and guarantee law enforcement has the tools they need to keep Illinois families safe.
“The current state of public safety in Illinois cannot continue, and our next budget must reflect the need for change, not hamper first responders charged with bringing criminals to justice. Combining that support for law enforcement with more funding for violence interrupters and community-based programs, we can overcome the criminal justice challenges in our state quickly and effectively.
“I am encouraged by Governor Pritzker’s words regarding his commitment to funding pensions and paying back bills. Neglecting the pension commitment is not an option and leaving our bills unpaid cannot continue.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but I’m eager to get to join my colleagues and community partners to tackle such important work.”