The Air Force's top civilian official spent Tuesday morning at Scott Air Force Base with Illinois' political leaders.
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk were among the officials who showed Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James around the Metro East military installation. It was the first time James visited the base since being confirmed by the U.S. Senate late last year. Illinois Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan were also on hand for James' visit.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has issued his first public remarks since suffering a stroke.
In a video released Tuesday, Kirk says he can't wait to get back to work and is walking again. The 52-year-old senator suffered a major stroke in January and underwent emergency surgery. He entered a rehabilitation center in February and was discharged last week.
Dr. Richard Harvey said Friday that Kirk continues to improve his "mobility for day-to-day activities." He adds that Kirk has been meeting regularly with his staff and has been getting visits from close friends and family.
Harvey is the medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation.
Legislative leaders say budget items are expected to top the agenda in the coming weeks. Those items include the state's troubled pension system and Medicaid costs.
House Deputy Majority leader, Democrat Frank Mautino, says Medicaid reform could end up being more controversial than pensions. Mautino says payment cycles are stretching too long and that cuts have to be made.