Governor Pritzker presented his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. Regardless of personal politics, there is something to be said for taking note of and claiming wins for the state when possible.  You may find some opportunities to use some of these when promoting your own communities to outside parties.

"The State of our State is growing stronger each day...

Today the Illinois economy supports 6.2 million jobs.  This is the most jobs on record for our state, and we now have the lowest unemployment rate in history. Last year, for the first time in nearly 20 years, every major region in our state was growing simultaneously - and even more remarkably, communities in southern Illinois like Carbondale have led that growth. Over the past year, Illinois has reduced its unemployment rate more than ALL of the top twenty most populated states in the nation — and more than our Midwestern peers.

237 Illinois businesses from all over the state made Inc Magazine's List of Fastest-Growing Businesses in the Nation, including companies in Columbia and Rock Island, St. Charles and O'Fallon, Taylorville and Chicago.

Student applications to Illinois' public universities increased last fall for the first time in many years. Illinois is the second-largest producer of computer science degrees in the nation, accounting for nearly 10 percent of all computer science degrees awarded in the entire United States."

Other highlights from the speech are below, full speech is available [here]. 

  • "Rebuild Illinois will create and support 500,000 jobs in the state as we fix our aging and crumbling roads and bridges, bring broadband to parts of the state that are internet deserts, as well as modernize our hospitals, our community centers, our state police facilities, our universities, and colleges." 
  • The legalization "adult-use cannabis with the most equity-centric legislation in the nation which will result in 63,000 new jobs, and new opportunities for entrepreneurs, especially those from communities that have been left behind." And gives "a second chance to hundreds of thousands of people who had a low-level cannabis conviction or arrest on their record."
  • The License to Work Act "ended the practice of revoking driver's licenses for unpaid parking tickets and fines - because often the only way someone has to pay their parking ticket is if they can travel to work. We restored driving privileges to more than 50,000 people."
  • Consolidated "650 downstate and suburban first responder pension systems - which will alleviate local property tax burdens and strengthen the funds that offer a decent retirement to our police and firefighters."
  • We capped out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply, restored federal funding of our state immunization program, reduced the number of opioid-related deaths, and expanded insurance coverage for mammograms and reproductive health.
  • "We stopped bad-mouthing the state and started passing laws that make Illinois more attractive for businesses and jobs. Working across the aisle, we brought tax relief for 300,000 small businesses through the phase-out of the corporate franchise tax. And we laid the groundwork for new high-paying tech jobs by opening new business incubators, by incentivizing the building of new data centers, and by investing $100 million in a University of Illinois and University of Chicago partnership that will make Illinois the quantum computing capital of the world."