JB Pritzker

Brian Mackey

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a nearly $40 billion state budget along with a measure that could lead to enacting a graduated income tax in Illinois.

The Democrat inked the measures Wednesday afternoon at a state government office in downtown Chicago. He says a "new era of fiscal responsibility has arrived in Illinois."

University officials are praising Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget increases for higher education. 

It would provide more money for student aid and gives colleges a five percent boost in their operating budgets. Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman says the increase won’t undo the damage from previous cuts and the 700 day budget impasse. But it’s a good first step.

In his budget address today, Gov. J.B. Pritzker listed education as one of his top three priorities, requesting increased funding for programs across the educational spectrum, from babies to grade school to colleges and universities.

Now all he has to do is persuade lawmakers to go along with his plan to pay for it.

A new lobbying group says it plans to promote Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s agenda using secret money. It’s being run by a close Pritzker ally.


There is a mystery at the heart of Illinois government. Statehouse reporters have been in private discussions about it for weeks. After internal deliberations here at public radio, we thought it was finally time to go public.

John Sullivan was chosen by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to head the Illinois Department of Agriculture, succeeding former director Raymond Poe. 

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order Friday in Rockford boosting state resources to fight the HIV epidemic.

The executive order replenishes lapsed funding for HIV testing.

“Instead of taking action over the past few years, we’ve seen prevention funding dry up," said Pritzker.

It will also increase funding for PrEP, the daily pill that can be used by those most vulnerable to prevent the infection.

Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker now tops Donald Trump as the richest politician in America. Pritzker’s wealth has led to more questions about the role of money in politics, and led critics to question how much the Democrat’s personal wealth may have influenced his election win against Gov. Bruce Rauner.


Illinois Governor-Elect JB Pritzker announced Thursday that Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara will join the Budget & Innovation Team as part of the bi-partisan Transition Committee. According to a news release, the team will focus on "tackling the financial issues facing Illinois and help develop new ways to stimulate the state’s economy and improve its business climate."  

Chase Cavanaugh

Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker has donated $15 million more to his campaign for Illinois governor. This pushed his self-financing total to $161.5 million.

 

   

Both Pritzker and multimillionaire Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been largely funding their own campaigns. The Chicago Tribune reports that Pritzker's campaign reported the new donation to state election officials Saturday.

Brian Mackey

The controversy over sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spilled into governor's races across the country as Christine Blasey Ford told her story Thursday.

Governors have no role in how the U.S. Senate should handle Kavanaugh's appointment. But their voices could add pressure to senators trying to decide how to vote.

Victoria Lunacek

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate J.B. Pritzker stopped in DeKalb on Sunday to rally support from local Democrats. He also unveiled a new campaign office. He says the goal is to further expand campaign efforts beyond Chicago and the collar counties.  Pritzker also framed his campaign as a challenge to Washington.

"I decided to run for governor because everything we care about, and I really mean everything, is under siege right now by a racist misogynist in Washington, and his local silent partner Governor Bruce Rauner," he said.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Last fall, JB Pritzker spoke to reporters after getting the nod from the Illinois Democratic County Chairs in Springfield. He told the crowd what his campaign was about.

"It's a lot about beating Bruce Rauner. But it isn't just about beating Bruce Rauner," the Hyatt Hotel heir and billionaire said. "It's about electing every Democrat, everywhere in this state. It's about building the biggest, strongest tent in Illinois politics. It's about being ready to win up and down the ballot."

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker continued to stand by a controversial campaign ad during a visit to Champaign on Friday. The ad attacks Governor Bruce Rauner for his financial interest in a company that provides healthcare to facilities holding immigrant detainees.

The ad released July 11 criticizes Gov. Rauner for having a financial interest in Correct Care Solutions.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois gubernatorial candidates will soon receive a written pledge in the mail asking them to support the new law expanding abortion coverage — and oppose any push to repeal it.

After Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law providing abortion coverage under state health insurance and Medicaid, some — like state Rep. Jeanne Ives who ran against him on the GOP ticket in the primary — said it showed Rauner’s position on the issue is too liberal. According to Ives, the governor's decision encouraged her to run as his opponent. 

Elgin Development Group

A deal has been struck to sell Illinois’ third highest-grossing casino, and that could mean a boon for Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker.

Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts announced Monday a $327.5 million deal for the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin. It’s co-owned by Chicago’s Pritzker family and MGM Resorts.

J.B. Pritzker’s campaign confirmed he holds a 1 percent overall stake in the casino, making his potential payout $3.27 million – pending Illinois Gaming Board approval.

State records show the Grand Victoria grossed $168.7 million last year.

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was in full campaign attack mode the day after he eked out a narrow win in the primary.  

Rauner didn’t take any time to savor his victory. Wednesday, he made factory stops in St. Charles, Rockford and Moline to press the flesh and make his case for re-election.  

In this Friday Forum, we begin a series of interviews about important Illinois Primary Election races. WNIJ’s Dan Klefstad talked with Northern Illinois University Prof. Scot Schraufnagel, chairman of the Political Science Department, about various statewide and Congressional races. This week, we start with the top of the ballot: the race for Illinois governor.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Most of the Democrats running for governor of Illinois have long since come out in favor of a graduated income tax, where wealthier people pay a higher rate on income above a certain amount. But it wasn’t until Thursday that one candidate said what he thought that amount ought to be.

The concept of a graduated income tax has been embraced by state Sen. Daniel Biss, J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, and Bob Daiber.

After months of promising to release their tax returns, two Democratic candidates for Illinois governor released them -- partially.

Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker both released the top pages of their tax returns - but not much else. Kennedy and his wife reported to the IRS that they earned $1.2 million dollars last year. Meanwhile, Pritzker - an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune - reported earning almost $15 million with his wife last year, nearly $10 million in 2015, and $3 million in 2014.

jb-pritzker.com

J.B. Pritzker won another big-ticket endorsement in his campaign to win the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor.

The Democratic County Chairmen’s Association met in Springfield over the weekend and picked Pritzker from the large field of candidates. Association President Doug House says Pritzker — a billionaire who’s self-funding his campaign — is the only candidate who can build the infrastructure to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner next year.

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The Democratic candidates for Illinois Governor convened at a progressive forum yesterday to stake out the distinctions in their campaigns.

Evanston state Sen. Daniel Biss started with a question.

 

“Are we going to listen to the insiders and let it be all about billionaires again, or are we going to build a progressive movement to make transformational change that we have needed for so long?" he asked. 

 

jbpritzker.com

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza endorsed gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker in the Democratic primary.  

Juan Anthony Images/Flickr

Democratic candidate for Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker named state Rep. Juliana Stratton to be his 2018 running mate Thursday, calling the Chicago attorney a fighter who "hasn't been shy about standing up" to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and President Donald Trump.

Several Democrats running for governor of Illinois are proposing the state enact universal healthcare.

J.B. Pritzker is the latest to bring out a plan. He wants to let anyone buy into the Medicaid program, which is currently limited to the poor, elderly and disabled. 

However, two other Democratic candidates said Pritzker's plan doesn't go far enough. State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston and Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar said Illinois should create its own single-payer plan. That’s where all healthcare is paid for by the government, instead of private insurance. 

jb-pritzker.com

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker is presenting a formal plan to fight against President Donald Trump’s policies

For example, Pritzker said he supports a bill to keep abortion legal in Illinois if Roe versus Wade is overturned.

"Donald Trump is an egotistical bigot," he said. "Donald Trump is a xenophobe, and he’s a misogynist who cares more about a personal win than about how his policies affect American families."

 

"Money" by Flickr User 401(K) 2012 / (CC X 2.0)

Next year, Illinois could have one of the most expensive gubernatorial campaigns the country has ever seen.

Among Democrats, recent filings show that J.B. Pritzker spent more than $9 million in the last three months, much of it on media.  The candidate says he plans to spend only his own money on the campaign. By contrast, State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Skokie, raised about $1 million from donors.

Chris Kennedy raised $700,000 and spent almost all of it. Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar raised $139,000.  State Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, raised $66,000.

jb-pritzker.com

A Democrat running for Illinois governor in 2018 is calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

J.B. Pritzker said in a statement Wednesday the House of Representatives should begin impeachment proceedings. He says there are "credible reports" that Trump "obstructed justice in the investigation of the Russian hacking of our democracy."

Pritzker was a top supporter of Hillary Clinton, helping raise millions for her unsuccessful campaign against Trump. The Chicago billionaire says calling for impeachment is "not something done lightly" but that it's necessary.

Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker is launching the first television ads of the Democratic primary campaign for Illinois governor.

Pritzker's campaign released a 60-second ad statewide Tuesday aimed at helping voters get to know the candidate, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune who doesn't have the name recognition of some of his rivals, especially outside Chicago.

The ad explains Pritzker's role in starting the Chicago tech incubator called 1871 and his work to support early childhood education.

jb-pritzker.com

Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker has taken the first formal step toward a 2018 challenge to Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Democrat says he filed paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections on Tuesday to form an exploratory committee. He says he's contributing $200,000 to cover the committee's day-to-day operations.

Pritzker is an investor and philanthropist who has the personal fortune to compete with Rauner's wealth.

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