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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Critics say Pritzker policies only adding to Illinois' woes

State Government

By Zeta Cross | Jan 31, 2020

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker | Instagram

Reacting to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s State of the State speech on Wednesday, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider (R-Burr Ridge) said that the governor's policies will only continue to make things worse for taxpayers.

“Governor Pritzker’s priorities have been focused on adding to our financial crisis, not solving it,” Schneider said in a statement released after the speech. “We will not solve the immense challenges we face by pushing the same tax-and-spend policies that created the mess in Illinois.”

Schneider blames Illinois' high taxes for causing “a mass exodus of people leaving the state.” According to Governing Magazine, Illinois’ population has declined by 157,000 residents over the past five years. Schneider said he expects that trend to continue under Pritzker's leadership.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider (R-Burr Ridge)

“His priorities have made life more expensive for working families in Illinois, not more affordable,” Schneider said. “Gov. Pritzker’s priorities will only serve to speed up our decline as small businesses shutter, property taxes keep rising and middle-class wallets are hit up time and again.”

Schneider says Republicans stand ready to work with Democrats “to find common ground to solve the enormous challenges facing Illinois.” He also urged the governor to keep the promises he made in the State of the State speech with regard to stopping corruption.

Additionally, Schneider accused Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) of being a roadblock to bipartisan cooperation on both ethics reform and gerrymandering. 

"Now is the time for Pritzker to show Madigan that the status quo in Springfield must change,” Schneider said. "I hope the governor has the courage to do so."

In his speech, Pritzker announced his support for several ethics reforms that are backed by Republicans, including ending the practice of lawmakers serving as paid lobbyists while in office, increasing disclosure of conflicts of interest, and banning lawmakers from immediately turning around to work as paid lobbyists upon leaving public office. Republicans have several bills in the House addressing these issues.

Schneider also called on the governor to support the non-partisan redrawing of legislative maps, known as Fair Mapping. Speaker Madigan has refused to back the Fair Maps effort. 

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