Pot, minimum wage, child care: What are Pritzker’s first priorities?


After what I hear has been quite a debate on how quickly to move on a capital bill—and a revenue source to pay for it—Pritzker signaled that it will be a few months before one comes, right around the time that lawmakers adopt a budget. The budget "leads to everything else," he said.

Pritzker was far less committal when I asked him about passing a big gambling package, one that could include a casino for Chicago, a top priority of outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "I’m not sure that’s my right" to dictate, he said, but did add that he personally sees some potential in expanded online betting on sporting events.

The Chicago Democrat appeared to leave no wiggle room at all on a pension fix that would require worker concessions.

"I’ll be talking about pensions," Pritzker said. But in general, "What people are owed should be paid."

Pritzker did not give an indication when he would unveil details of his signature issue: converting the state income tax from a flat to a graduated rate. He only noted that a constitutional amendment will be needed, and that it cannot be presented to voters until at least November 2020.

Pritzker ducked an opportunity to blame anyone in particular for what insiders say are gaping shortfalls in state finances being left behind after years of fighting between outgoing Gov. Bruce Rauner and Springfield Democrats.   "There’s no question there are holes in the budget," is all he’d say, at least for now.
Pritzker did signal that his outreach to minority Republicans will continue, even though Democrats have the power to do whatever they want if they stay united. That outreach has included inviting the GOP leaders of the House and the Senate over to his home for dinner, attending a swearing-in party for new Republican lawmakers and naming retiring state Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, to be his revenue director.

"It’s very important that we have not our partisanship, but that we work together. That’s what this administration is all about," he said. "Can you do it with a supermajority? Yes. But you shouldn’t."
That may suggest the new governor will have a longer than usual honeymoon, particularly by recent political standards. It won’t continue forever, but will be nice while it lasts.

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via Crain’s Chicago Business

January 13, 2019 at 10:25AM

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