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Then/Now: Gov. JB Pritzker Wraps “Epic” Legislative Session After Finding Bipartisan Support, Works Session like a “Maestro”

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is earning widespread praise for finding bipartisan support during a wildly successful legislative session that included a bipartisan budget and multibillion-dollar infrastructure plan among other successes. Gov. Pritzker’s ability to build consensus around policies that will help Illinois families is a complete reversal from the damaging years of partisan gridlock under Republican Gov. Rauner.
THAT WAS THEN: “Any hope for a break in Illinois’ long-running budget stalemate devolved into more partisan bickering and deeper divisions on Wednesday as the state legislature ended its spring session without a deal on a spending plan for a third year in a row.” [Reuters, 5/31/17]
“‘The trajectory we are on right now is immoral. We have to have a budget,” state Rep. Michael Unes, among the Republicans to vote for the budget. “For me today, right here, right now, this is the sword that I’m willing to die on. And if it costs me my seat, so be it.” [Politico, 7/4/17]
THIS IS NOW: “Considering the dysfunction in Illinois’ gubernatorial politics for nearly the past two decades — and particularly under Pritzker’s Republican predecessor, Bruce Rauner — the rookie Democratic governor worked Springfield like a maestro.” [WBEZ, 6/3/19]
“As I’ve said before, we can get great things done for Illinois families as long as we respect the principles and priorities of each caucus. In doing so, we have passed historic education reform, two bipartisan, balanced budgets and now important reforms that will grow jobs. I am proud to have worked with the legislative leaders and the governor to finally do what’s right for Illinois families and businesses.” [Republican House Leader Jim Durkin, 6/2/19]