By Blake Haas
BLOOMINGTON – Just days removed from Gov. Pritzker’s budget address, one state senator says he was “stunned” by the Governors’ “harsh political rhetoric” during his speech.
On Wednesday, Gov. Pritzker unveiled his 2021 budget proposal, which did not include a tax hike. However, Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said the speech did have unnecessary rhetoric.
“First of all, I was stunned at the harsh partisan rhetoric that I heard from the Governor in his budget address. I can’t point you to another budget address for which the person standing at the microphone took so many just over-the-top rhetorical political swings at Republicans. And for me, I’m a guy who worked with this Governor over the years. I mean, I’ve broken with the party and worked with him to try to forge bipartisan agreements.
“For him to make those attacks, I think, were totally unjustified. I think the public is fed up with that level of rhetoric, and they expect more. I tell you, I expect more out of all of us, including the Governor.”
WATCH: Gov. Pritzker delivers virtual budget address from the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Governor Pritzker delivers virtual State of the State and budget address. https://t.co/GepdmH3cEo
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) February 17, 2021
Barickman said last year Republicans sent recommendations and ideas for a budget, but Pritzker was unwilling to budge.
“For him (Pritzker) to come back to us in the middle of the year and I can tell you what he did; he placed a phone call to a leader and then later that afternoon he went public with an ‘I called them, and they didn’t have anything to offer,’ which is baloney. That’s just a political line that he’s using. We’ve (Republicans) have demonstrated all along the way; we’ve got ideas and reforms. We’ve put those forward, and we’ve tried to negotiate with the Governor on those, and to date, he’s been unwilling to accept those.”
He added Republicans would try to propose more ideas in the spring when the General Assembly reconvenes.
LISTEN: State Senator Jason Barickman spoke with WJBC’s Scott Miller.
Senator Jason Barickman on Madigan's resignation and Governors budget proposal https://t.co/Z4JaNvUEGn
— WJBC AM-1230 (@WJBC) February 19, 2021
Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.