New state administration proposes multiple changes

Natalia Santis, Editor for Lenses

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    In November of 2018, the election had tipped in the Democrats’ favor with the announcement that J.B. Pritzker won the midterms,so while many regular Illinois residents trekked to work and school, J.B. Pritzker was sworn into office and became the 43rd governor of Illinois on January 14, 2019.  

    The heavily anticipated win ushered in many questions regarding Pritzker’s proposed state legislature, one that significantly varied from the previously enacted legislature under Republican hands.

    Although Pritzker’s tenure has barely begun, the following information provides a general idea of his stance of varying issues:

 

Healthcare

J.B. Pritzker supports continual funding for Medicaid. He claims those with low incomes, disabilities and the elderly should have greater access to health care.

Taxing

Pritzker is proposing to change from a flat individual income tax rate to a graduated income tax. The move would require a new constitutional amendment and the earliest that voters would be able to influence the decision would be in 2020, halfway through Pritzker’s term. The graduated tax rate could negatively affect higher-income taxpayers with much steeper rates.

Marijuana

Pritzker highly supports the legalization of recreational marijuana and the expansion of parameters that qualify one for medical marijuana. With sales estimated as high as $11 million in the U.S., the complete legalization of marijuana in the state of Illinois could open new job opportunities and pose positive impacts on the state economy.

Minimum Wage

Pritzker supports increasing the Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 to $15.00, a whopping $6.25 difference. While previously Bruce Rauner argued that such an increase would hurt workers and employers, Pritzker claims the wage hike could aid over 2.3 million Illinois employees.

 

    Considering the difference of J.B. Pritzker’s outlook on the Illinois legislature when compared to previous tenures, his quest for change may pose significant difficulties. While he may claim his proposals are for the best of the state, it is ultimately up to Illinois residents to support whatever they believe would impact the state best.

 

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