St. Louis Public Radio News
8:13 am
Wed April 8, 2009

Burris makes stop in Metro East, says he's standing up for Illinois

Granite City, IL – Senator Roland Burris is wrapping up an economic tour through southern and central Illinois.

On Wednesday, Burris met with administrators at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville as well as unemployed steelworkers in Granite City.

In the months since his controversial appointment, Burris has lobbied for the spending of stimulus dollars on several Illinois projects.

The senator says he is not concerned about connections to ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich that might arise during the former governor's corruption trial.

"I have no concern about that, that will pull its course...I'm not involved in that in any form, shape or fashion," said Burris.

"I am doing my business as a senator. I am in the senate, I'm out on a listening and learning tour and it has been just great."

Speaking to union workers in Granite City, Burris reiterated the importance of his vote in the passage of President Obama's stimulus package.

Burris danced around questions about whether he'll seek election to a full term next year despite continued calls for him to step down. He appeared more comfortable and laid back since the days when the state legislature considered a special election to replace him.