Governor David releases statement clarifying policy objectives
On March 19, 2021, Governor David sent a statement to the Observer that sought to clarify his goals for the 2021 Springfield session. The statement reads as follows:
I feel that in order to clarify my policy objectives, and find common ground among our proposals, I should provide some perspective on my own legislative priorities. Below, listed in order of greatest to least importance, are my top 3 legislative priorities.
With this, I would also like to affirm my commitment to bipartisanship and cooperation; I am committed to treating each bill with the full respect and attention it is due. I feel it is my duty to listen before I act, and I would like to promise my utmost respect, consideration, and courtesy to anyone who would like to discuss a bill.
My top three legislative priorities are as follows:
#1 Racial and Social Justice
This summer, our country has experienced the beginning of a racial reckoning; with a new commitment to stand against systemic racism, Americans across our nation look with optimism to an anti-racist, accepting, and racially just society. As our country is increasingly conscious of the sheer extent and magnitude of systemic racism, our generation has a new hope to succeed where older generations have failed.
Yet, the challenges to racial justice remain a threat; efforts to disenfranchise African American voters in the 2020 election mounted, as did hatred and violence directed toward Asian Americans. Extremist groups such as the Proud Boys have grown in notoriety and numbers, and currently pose the greatest threat of domestic terrorism to our democracy.
I feel it is our unequivocal responsibility to stand against racism and hatred, and I earnestly support bills in favor of racial and social justice.
#2 Fiscal Responsibility
According to Ballotpedia, Illinois’ credit rating as of 2017 is BBB minus- that’s the lowest of any US state, and experts anticipate that the pandemic’s economic hardship will lower the rating even further. As of 2017, the rating stood at just one notch away from “junk” [Illinois Policy]; Moody’s Investors Service identifies this rating as “judged to have speculative elements, significant credit risk”.
The disastrous implications of a poorly balanced budget affect all Illinoisans; property taxes remain high as policy makers scramble to gain revenue, and residents are emigrating at unprecedented levels. Without a sound fiscal policy, our institutions will suffer; this growing debt can hamstring efforts to improve infrastructure, create jobs, good schools, and effective public services.
I strongly support finding innovative ways to make Illinois attractive for investment, and ultimately strengthen institutions while decreasing residents’ tax burden.
#3 Supporting Economic Prosperity
Many Illinoisans have faced severe financial problems even prior to the pandemic; while many of us are fortunate enough to have a stable housing situation, access to well-funded schools, and economic stability, many families in Illinois are not so fortunate. I am committed to addressing the systemic inequities contributing to economic difficulty, and closing the gaps created by such inequality. Our administration intends to encourage investment and state funding for historically less privileged communities, and stimulate economic recovery from the pandemic.
To meet this goal of improving residents’ financial prosperity, we intend to pass bills encouraging growth in all sectors of the economy. We are committed to creating new jobs in energy, agriculture, tourism, service, manufacturing, and other sectors, with the ultimate goal of achieving greater living standards and economic equality for Illinoisans.
Thank you for your thought and consideration of these objectives. I look forward to a productive Assembly, and I eagerly await bills and fresh ideas.