SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Gregg Johnson, D-Rock Island, issued the follow response to Gov. JB Pritzker’s State of the State address on Wednesday:
“Smart spending since the Rauner administration—including paying down billions in pension debt and clearing COVID-19 loans early—has brought Illinois to a more financially sound position. As lawmakers, it’s now our duty to take advantage of our fiscal strength to overcome the challenges facing Illinoisans and build a stronger future for our communities.
“Working people across the state are still struggling with the challenges of inflation – jobs programs need to be a top priority. The middle class in Illinois is built on a foundation of steady employment for fair pay and next year’s budget needs to reflect that. With my position on the Labor and Commerce committee, I plan to be laser-focused on creating good-paying job opportunities, and pushing for funding for programs that put the unemployed in our state to work.
“I am excited about the Smart Start initiative that the Governor has proposed and I am looking forward to learning more. Education, especially early childhood, is among the most vital functions of state government. Increasing educational opportunities for students from Pre-K to college or vocational school is a top priority for both the governor and I.”
“While Illinois has done great work in recent years on protecting bodily autonomy, securing the right to an abortion demands continued financial support. Funding for reproductive health clinics that provide these services, especially in underserved communities, is absolutely vital. I know from personal experience the importance of this human right, and I will put my full support behind ensuring every woman has it.
“In coming months, I’ll be taking a hard look at this budget proposal to make sure it addresses all the challenges our community faces. I am optimistic we will continue our trend of timely, responsible budgets.”