Legislators Introduce Illinois Comeback Agenda

House, Senate Members Unite Behind Long-Term Vision for Pulling Illinois Out of Crisis

Contact:  Alison Leipsiger, 847-899-6445

alison@reimagineillinois.org

SPRINGFIELDAfter a budget impasse of nearly two years, legislators from the Illinois House and Senate Democratic caucuses are uniting behind a new vision to pull Illinois out of the depths of its historic crisis: the Illinois Comeback Agenda.

About a dozen rank-and-file legislators appeared at a Statehouse news conference Wednesday morning to introduce the long-term vision for a stronger, better Illinois in the Comeback Agenda, featuring five areas of focus with one immediate legislative priority in each area that they plan to advance this session.

The lawmakers developed the policy agenda to focus on progress in five areas key to Illinois’ recovery, with these current legislative goals:

  • Government reform – starting with publicly funding political campaigns to limit the heightened influence of extremely wealthy donors and candidates
  • Quality, equitable education — starting with reinstating the pre-K program for children whose parents are full-time university and college students
  • Good, stable Illinois jobs – starting with reclaiming money from corporations who take Illinois tax breaks and then ship jobs out of Illinois
  • Healthy and safe communities — starting with reforming the cash bail process to prevent innocent people from being locked up simply for being poor

These rank-and-file lawmakers said they had been meeting for several months to conduct research and discuss policy options. The end result, they said, is a balanced approach to addressing the state’s problems, both immediate and long-term.

“Our problems are so severe in Illinois that it’s going to take a long-term plan over years to dig out of this hole,” said Senate President Pro Tem Don Harmon, D-Oak Park. “We came together and worked hard to develop the vision needed to overcome our challenges, and the specific legislative proposals to help us make progress toward this vision.”

“All across our country, and in a more troubling way in Illinois, our citizens feel like special interests and the ultra-rich control our legislative process and its outcomes,” said Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago. “The Illinois Comeback Agenda acknowledges the struggle the rest of us are facing, and aims to make government serve the people instead of just the powerful.”

“Our vision here is bold, aggressive and sorely needed,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago. “But we need to put the vision in place one piece at a time, and these five legislative proposals take the important first steps to make the progress we desperately need today.”

“We can’t sit on the sidelines and let Illinois crumble around us,” said Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford. “By uniting behind this long-term plan and striving for short-term progress, we are sending a message to our citizens that we hear them: we must prioritize their needs, and will work every day to make Illinois’ comeback a reality.”

Learn more about the Illinois Comeback Agenda at www.comebackil.com.

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