SPRINGFIELD (WREX) — A number lawmakers new to the Illinois General Assembly took the oath Wednesday in Springfield, including some who are excited to represent the Stateline.
I’m at a loss for words. I’m ecstatic, excited, honored, humbled all at the same time,” Rep. Maurice West II (D) 67th District said.
Rep. West II and Rep. Andrew Chesney (R) 89th District said.
“Very humble, grateful and honored, these positions, I don’t think anyone takes lightly,” Rep. Chesney said.
13 WREX asked the two freshman lawmakers what their goals as they get settled into their new offices.
“One big goal of mine is to increase the minimum wage. 8.25 just isn’t going to cut it anymore. So that’s something that will affect everyone in the state,” Rep. West II said. “But when it comes to the people of Rockford, I would like to see money going into mental health services.”
Rep. Chesney said he wants to lower taxes for northwestern Illinois.
“We are one of the sites of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. I’d like to look at a tax credit that preserves the history of Lincoln. I think that would be a nice welcomed local project that would bring bipartisan support,” Rep. Chesney said. “Also I would like to see a capital bill that would address the potholes and the infrastructure that has been deferred for quite a while.”
Sen. Brian Stewart isn’t a new face in the capital but he’s a new face in the senate. The 89th district representative now represents the 45th senate district.
He released a statement Wednesday saying:
“The convening of the 101st General Assembly signals a renewed commitment to face the challenges and welcome the opportunities awaiting Illinois. We have our work cut out for us, and the decisions will be tough. It will be better for all of us if we decide now to work together rather than getting bogged down in partisan bickering.”
Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker will be inaugurated on Monday, Jan. 14 at 11:30 a.m. in Springfield.