Bryant: Governor’s Optimistic Tone is a Positive Sign

Springfield….Following Governor Rauner’s 3rd State of the State address on Wednesday, Representative Terri Bryant says she appreciated the Governor’s optimistic tone. The 115th district State Representative says she thinks the speech was a positive and effective way to start the business of the newly-seated 100th General Assembly.

“Today we heard the Governor point to areas where we’ve made progress during his first term,” Bryant said. “The state has invested $700 million more in public education, and $100 million more in early childhood programs. The number one task facing the new General Assembly will be to pass a balanced budget; but it was clear to me that more investment in education will be a major priority of the Governor going forward, and, I fully support that.”

The 99th General Assembly passed several measures designed to reform the State’s criminal justice system. Bryant says she was pleased to hear the Governor reiterate his support for facilities and programs that help reduce violence against Correctional employees, decrease the rate of recidivism, and alleviate prison overcrowding.  

“One of my major priorities is to reopen the shuttered Murphysboro boot camp,” Bryant said. “I was thrilled to hear the Governor specifically mention Murphysboro. I fully support educational, vocational, and life-skills training programs for incarcerated individuals. We have got to be tough on crime, but we’ve also got to be smart on crime. Repurposing Murphysboro into a life-skills facility will ease the overcrowding and recidivism that are so prevalent in our Department of Corrections today.”   Bryant also indicated her support for a renewed push for Constitutional Amendments to establish term limits for politicians and reform the process for drawing legislative district maps.  

“Part of the problem we have in Illinois is that our political system is set up to protect incumbents, insiders, and special interests,” Bryant said. “I support term limits to stop politicians from making a career out of public service. I also support changing our mapmaking process to reflect the ideal aim of our Republic. The people should choose their Representatives. Politicians should not get to choose their voters. These changes to our political system would be a signal to the rest of the country that Illinois is serious about changing the way we do business.”  

Rauner’s speech was delivered on Wednesday before a joint committee of the Illinois House and Senate.