SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement on the election of Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch as Speaker of the House:

“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Representative Welch on his historic win as he becomes our state’s first Black Speaker of the House,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Speaker Welch has a record of championing legislation that has improved the lives of hard working Illinoisans, and I have enjoyed working with him to move our state forward. As Governor, I believe strongly that it is incumbent upon me to work with the General Assembly’s leaders who are chosen by their caucuses, and I look forward to continuing to work with Speaker Welch on our shared agenda.”

“I also want to recognize Speaker Madigan for his decades of service to the state of Illinois. Years from now, when historians focus on the legacy of the General Assemblies he has led, they will see beyond this chapter to the many achievements in the fight to lift up working families and those most in need, and they will especially acknowledge the necessary firewall that was built in the fight against Governor Rauner’s destructive agenda.

Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement following the impeachment of President Trump:

“For the first time in United States history, a sitting President has been impeached on two separate occasions by the House of Representatives – a testament to the resiliency of our Constitution, but an ugly stain on our nation’s history,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Make no mistake: to hold accountable those who smear our democracy, who unleash violence and death upon the halls of Congress, who dance on the desks of duly elected public servants in the name of insurrection – and yes, those who incite it all from inside the world’s most powerful office – is the most patriotic thing we can do.

We cannot rebuild without ridding ourselves of what’s rotten. We cannot hope to unify without upholding the ideals of justice, democracy and liberty that tie us together as one nation. Today, Republicans joined with Democrats to send that message.

The events of January 6th, 2021 – and the weeks’, months’ and years’ worth of falsities and fantasies that led up to them – represented a culmination of Donald J. Trump’s longstanding efforts to channel hate and demagoguery into power. As a proud American, I have long feared the repercussions of these efforts, and the choice of the national Republican party to embrace them and its media ecosystem to amplify them. He has long posed a danger to our nation – and last week, the world watched in horror as his name was carried on flags – alongside the flag of our nation’s most infamous traitors, the Confederacy – in a siege on our Capitol. And I believe fully that we would be remiss to assume the threat of such efforts lies behind us.

But today, amid sorrow, amid worry, amid the bruising impact of a pandemic on pace to soon take over 400,000 American lives: I am hopeful. By impeaching President Trump on the charge of Incitement of Insurrection, the House of Representatives has taken a necessary step toward holding accountable a president whose very hallmark has been the derision of our democracy. In the constant pursuit of our nation’s finest ideals, the promise of a more perfect union lives another day. Our work to secure it continues, and I urge the Senate to take up its duty immediately.”

Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement following the passage of HB3653

“I have long held that an essential mark of good governance is a willingness to change the laws that have failed the people of Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This criminal justice package carries with it the opportunity to shape our state into a lesson in true justice for the nation by abolishing cash bail, modernizing sentencing laws, instituting a certification and decertification system for police officers statewide, requiring body cameras, reforming crowd control response, and amplifying law enforcement training standards. I was proud to make ending cash bail and modernizing sentencing laws a legislative priority of my administration, and I have long pledged my support to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in their efforts to pass not just criminal justice reform and police accountability measures, but also to truly root out the systemic racism that pulses through all our nation’s institutions by pursuing greater equity in healthcare, higher goals in education, and deeper investments in economic opportunity for communities that have for too long been left out and left behind.

In addition to recognizing the countless activists and advocates who have dedicated years – if not lifetimes – to pushing for change in a nation that locks people up at the highest rate in the world, I want to specifically offer my gratitude to Committee Chairs Representative Justin Slaughter and Senator Elgie Sims, Senator Robert Peters, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the ACLU of Illinois, the Coalition to End Money Bond, the Illinois Justice Project, the People’s Lobby, and all who have committed themselves to building a fairer and more equitable Illinois.”

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