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Pritzker: 'I'm Going To Make Sure All Voices Are Heard'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said that he's looking forward to working with the new mayor of Chicago, whomever is elected in the April runoff.

At a celebration for African American Heritage Month at the Thompson Center on Thursday, where Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton received at History Maker Award, Pritzker addressed the media on a host of of subjects he planned to tackle in his first session as governor.

One of them is the proposed graduated income tax.

"We're shortly going to be having conversations with leadership about rate structure, for the graduated income tax, to make sure we have a fair tax system. That's the very first thing we're going to go after over the next week or two, we'll be having those conversations," Pritzker said. "I've said all along that you need to negotiate the rates and the breakpoints for a new tax system in the state so that middle class taxpayers will pay less. So we can offer a real estate tax break for people all across the state. And that's what I'm going to do."

Also on his to-do list: Moving forward with legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois. Medical Marijuana was approved in the state several years ago.


"I'm pleased that Senator Heather Steans (D-7) and Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-14) have put forward their concept for a bill. They have a bill that they introduced last year and they're working on it this year to make sure it's the right kind of program, regulatory system, that works for everybody in the state," Pritzker said. "I'm going to make sure all the voices are heard, in particular, black and brown communities who have been put upon by the war on drugs over so many years."

A long-awaited capital bill to fund  infrastructure is also on the governor's agenda. Pritzker said he planned to have it discussed before the end of the legislative session. But no word on where the money would come from.

"There's no doubt that this is something that has to go through committees and be debated to make sure we have the right funding mechanisms. We're asking people to put forward their funding mechanisms, including the Republicans. I think Republicans and Democrats want to have an infrastructure bill for the state," Pritzker said.

But as for Chicago's upcoming mayoral race, Pritzker would not tip his hand as to whether he's endorsing Toni Preckwinkle or Lori Lightfoot. Prizker only said he supports the new mayor.

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