SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address on Wednesday.

Black Caucus leaders discussed areas within the governor’s budget proposal that specifically affect black communities, including early childhood education, economic development and public safety.

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the ILBC-

“I am thrilled Governor Pritzker has a significant plan for education from birth to college. I share his enthusiasm for educating our young people because it is proven that their success lies in the quality of their education.

“Educating our young people has always been a central focus of the Black Caucus. We understand that in order for communities to grow and advance, they need to be educated. We look forward to joining the governor in the fight for equitable funding and access to education.”

State Representative Camille Lilly, House Chair of the ILBC-

“The governor showed that our commitment to the people of Illinois is our biggest priority. Gov. Pritzker’s dedication to continue working with us to build a stronger Illinois for middle-class families and seniors displays the leadership needed moving forward.”

“A balanced budget is essential to putting Illinois back on the right track financially. We have to come together to make the tough decisions to create legislation that is for the betterment of our state. I stand ready to work with my fellow legislators to create bipartisan solutions to pay off old debt, prioritize property tax relief and fund the services needed by families and citizens statewide.”

“As legislators, we must do what is right by the people of Illinois. We must ensure we have a state government that works for its citizens.”

State Senator Christopher Belt, Senate Chair of the ILBC-

“I appreciate Gov. Pritzker proposing funding for additional personnel to allow appropriate staffing ratios at corrections facilities across the state. I spent 16 years with the St. Clair County Probation and Detention Center and two years as the regional deputy administrator of Aftercare for the central and southern regions of Illinois, so I strongly applaud him for considering the safety of our correctional officers.

“In addition, I support the governor proposing a fully funded mandate of pensions. After passing legislation that consolidates pensions in the downstate region, it’s vital that residents in my district have pension payment schedules that goes as planned.”