A Closer Look At Illinois’ New Governor, J.B. Pritzker, And What’s Ahead For The Prairie State | St. Louis Public Radio

A Closer Look At Illinois’ New Governor, J.B. Pritzker, And What’s Ahead For The Prairie State

Jan 15, 2019

Monday marked the inauguration of Illinois’ new governor, J.B. Pritzker. He outlined his plans for his term before an energetic crowd that afternoon.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Illinois Public Radio statehouse reporter Brian Mackey joined host Don Marsh to discuss the inauguration. Mackey, who recently spoke at length with Pritzker, highlighted key moments of the Democrat’s speech and touched on what’s ahead for the governor and the state.

“He definitely has charisma. I don't know that he's quite up to President Obama levels of rhetoric … but he does seem to have people excited about the direction that he wants to go,” Mackey said.

J.B. Pritzker was sworn in as Illinois' 43rd governor on January 14, 2019.
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The governor gets to work with a House and Senate with Democratic supermajorities.

“So there is a lot of optimism among Democrats that they're going to be able to get some of his agenda through,” Mackey added.

A few things that stuck out to the reporter regarding Pritzker’s run for office included his commitment to diversifying his constitutional officers and the many promises made to fix the state’s budget, introduce a new tax system and accelerate job growth.

“Going back and listening through the debates and a number of speeches he gave, and he has made a lot of promises to a lot of different constituencies – a fair number of them cost money, and that is not something that Illinois government has an abundance [of] right now,” Mackey said.

“So it's – I hate to fall back on that old public-radio cliché of ‘time will tell’ or ‘we'll see what happens,’” Mackey continued, “but that does really remain to be seen.”

Listen to the full conversation to hear more about what Illinois’ new governor plans for the state:

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.