Legislative leaders and elected officials are weighing in on the governor’s State of the State address. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says the governor hit the right notes with a focus on pension reform and hiking the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour. “I support it. It’s very, very popular in Illinois,” said Cullerton about the minimum wage increase.
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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who’s mulling a run for governor in 2014, agreed, but stopped short of weighing in on whether part-time workers should be included, saying she’s leaving that up to the legislature. House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), however, says everything should be put on the back burner until pension reform is passed. “I think we need to focus on the big issues, like the pension,” said Cross.
Other Republicans were more critical of the State of the State address. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says it was nothing more than a campaign speech. “It sounded like a good precursor to a campaign,” she said.