The ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. at a downtown Springfield convention center, and a state website will carry live video of the event here.
As Pritzker ends Rauner’s term, he also supplants him as the wealthiest governor in Illinois history, and he becomes the richest governor in America. His running mate, incoming Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, also will take the oath. And Pritzker will deliver a speech to try to set the tone for the opening chapter of his administration.
Also being sworn in for four-year terms on Monday: Chicago mayoral candidate and state Comptroller Susana Mendoza to a second term, Attorney General-elect Kwame Raoul for the first time, Secretary of State Jesse White for a record sixth term and Treasurer Mike Frerichs for his second.
“We won in a big way, not just in my race, but across the state, on those very issues,” Pritzker said in an interview last week. “So I believe the Democrats stand together on most of those issues.”
But at least at the start of his term, he’s trying to deliver a bipartisan message, even after a bitter campaign with Rauner that found the two candidates accusing each other of criminal activity.
“I want to work with Republicans to make sure that their voices are heard,” Pritzker said. “Look, are we going to disagree on some things? Of course we are. But I like to say that good ideas can come from anywhere.”
He faces big challenges. Illinois has a $7.4 billion pile of unpaid bills. Rebuilding roads and bridges will cost money. Payments for state worker and teacher retirements keep going up. He’ll have to negotiate a new contract with the state’s largest employee union, which endorsed him, after it remained at an impasse with Rauner for years.
And that’s not to mention unexpected challenges any governor faces, such as natural disasters and changing political winds.
He doesn’t have much time to settle in. His first budget proposal is due next month.
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January 14, 2019 at 05:15AM