Senate President on budget: “What a difference a year can make”

jjc 022019 CHICAGO — Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement regarding Gov. JB Pritzker signing the state budget.

“When we opened this session in January, I asked my colleagues to remember why voters sent us here. Quite simply, they wanted us to get things done. This session and this budget show we got the message.

We have a balanced budget that recognizes shared goals and invests in our priorities.

Public education will receive a $375 million increase. That keeps us on pace with our reforms of two years ago and means local school boards should have no reason to ask property taxpayers for more money.

We make the full pension payment, keeping Illinois on track with its long-term plan to restore financial stability to our retirement systems.

And we invest in hiring hundreds of new caseworkers and staff for the Department of Children and Family Services in an aggressive effort to better protect the endangered children in our state.

Governor Pritzker deserves a lot of credit for these accomplishments. What a difference a year can make. But every lawmaker – Republican and Democrat – who participated in this process also deserves credit for recognizing the chance to make our state better.

Our greatness will not be found through fleeting, nostalgic glimpses in the rear-view mirror, but rather with steadfast focus on the road ahead, a vision of the kind of state we want to be, and acknowledgement of the effort needed to get there and, most importantly, a willingness to do that work.

As the saying goes, ‘the world only spins forward’, and we have taken but the first steps in turning around our state. But we have shown we are willing to do the work. And while we celebrate today’s accomplishments, I look forward to our next challenges and working together to resolve them.”