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Local News

Will County state legislators react to State of the State address

Gov. JB Pritzker speaks during a press conference Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Plainfield, Ill., announcing the new interchange at Interstate 55 between Romeoville and Plainfield.
Gov. JB Pritzker speaks during a press conference Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Plainfield, Ill., announcing the new interchange at Interstate 55 between Romeoville and Plainfield.

Will County area state legislators had a mostly partisan reaction to Gov. JB Pritzker's State of the State address on Wednesday.

Pritzker spoke about his priorities for the coming year, especially his desire "root out" corruption in state government.

Democratic legislators lauded him for his other priorities and accomplishments over his first year in office.

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, highlighted the state's work to address the opioid epidemic under Pritzker. She cited the governor's executive order to focus on harm reduction strategies which promote safer use of opioids to save lives.

"I applaud Gov. JB Pritzker’s efforts to help end the opioid crisis that has plagued communities throughout Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said in a statement. “The $4.1 million investment will help increase the state’s investments in communities that need them the most and help create a comprehensive plan to fight the opioid crisis.”

State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, who was recently named to the Illinois Senate leadership, lauded Pritzker's pledge to work on improving energy infrastructure.

"We must continue to invest in what makes Illinois a great place to live," Hastings said in a statement. "Our roads, schools and other critical infrastructure must be modernized. Last year, we took huge strides and I look forward to working with Governor Pritzker to continue rebuilding Illinois."

Local Republicans took a more critical approach and pointed to a number of concerns which they said have contributed to a need for ethics reforms.

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, again called for more action to "stop influence peddling" through adopting term limits and redistricting reform.

"This year we have seen too many cases of corruption cracking the foundation of our government," Batinick said in a statement. "While I appreciate the governor’s support today on ethics reform, there is still much more to be done to root out this culture of corruption."

State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, pointed fingers at another powerful Springfield politician who Republicans like to blame for the state's problems.

"While I applaud the governor sanctioning ethics reform, specifically a revolving door ban I have been advocating for years, he did not mention the elephant in the room, Speaker (Michael) Madigan," McDermed said in a statement. "As long as he remains in power and those that support him continue to prop him up, Illinois will continue its steady drip of corruption."

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