Governor Calls for More Attention to Downstate Illinois in Inaugural Address

Governor Calls for More Attention to Downstate Illinois in Inaugural Address

SPRINGFIELD — J.B. Pritzker is now the Governor of Illinois. He was sworn in shortly after noon Monday at Springfeld’s Bank of Springfield Center. He references many items he pledged to pursue on the campaign trail, like legalizing recreational marijuana, boosting the minimum wage and seeking what he calls a fair tax system. He also promised a different message after former Governor Bruce Rauner frequently warned how Illinois was falling behind its neighbors economically.

Pritzker closed his inaugural address with confidence Illinois will soon see better days.

Midway through his inaugural address, repeated a sentiment that Southern Illinois lawmakers have long expressed.

The downstate region, he said, deserves more attention.

Pritzker said: “We must bring a renaissance to downstate Illinois, which has been deprived of some basic resources for education and business-building that are taken for granted elsewhere in our state.” He also called for expanded high-speed internet access, and statewide improvements to railroads, highways and other transportation infrastructure.

According to the Southern Illinoisan, Pritzker’s words were received with cheers Monday afternoon in the packed Springfield arena where he was sworn in.

And although many sit across the political aisle from Illinois’ new Democrat governor, Southern Illinois lawmakers echoed that positivity.