JB Pritzker

Pritzker Urges Schools to Focus COVID Relief Funds

Apr 5, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker took to the road Monday to urge local school districts in Illinois to carefully target the roughly $7 billion in federal funds they will soon receive in order to help students overcome the learning loss they may have suffered during the pandemic.

Pritzker Vaccinated as Positivity Rate Rises

Mar 24, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

Gov. JB Pritzker received a COVID-19 vaccine and briefly took questions from reporters at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Wednesday as the state’s seven-day rolling average COVID-19 positivity rate ticked up to its highest point since Feb. 11.

The 2.8 percent case positivity rate represented an increase of 0.3 percent from the day prior and 0.7 percent from its low of 11 days earlier – a 25 percent increase in that span. There were 1,261 hospital beds in use for COVID-19 as of Tuesday night, roughly level from the day prior but a 14 percent increase since March 12. There were 269 intensive care unit beds in use by COVID-19 patients and 130 ventilators, both near their highs of the month.

Governor Talks Budget, Executive Authority, Relationship with Lawmakers

Mar 16, 2021
Capitol News Illinois file photo

Governor JB Pritzker's proposed budget for next year is getting mixed reviews.

Governor JB Pritzker proposed a budget of more than 41 billion dollars on Wednesday.

In his State of the State address, Governor JB Pritzker recognized the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and his hope for the future.

Pritzker gave the address at the Illinois State Fairground, recalling the venue’s history during the 1918 influenza pandemic and the role it’s playing as a vaccination site during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pritzker Outlines $41.6 Billion Budget with Flat Spending

Feb 17, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker outlined a $41.6 billion budget proposal Wednesday that would hold most state agencies at flat funding levels but which relies heavily on changes to the state’s corporate tax structure that lawmakers have not yet approved.

The budget proposal, which is only the governor’s request for lawmakers in the General Assembly, does not call for income tax increases. Over the next four months, lawmakers will work on an operating budget of their own to send to the governor which may or may not address all of his requests. 


Governor JB Pritzker delivered his FY2022 Budget Address and annual State of the State on Wednesday. Because of COVID restrictions, the address is virtual this year.

Pritzker’s Office Says No Tax Hikes, Flat Spending in Upcoming Budget

Feb 9, 2021
Capitol News Illinois file photo

Gov. JB Pritzker’s office says he will propose a budget with no tax increases for the upcoming fiscal year, and the deficit is now projected at about $2.5 billion less than previously thought.

The governor introduces his proposed budget each year, but lawmakers in the General Assembly have the ultimate say as to what funding gets appropriated. Pritzker is scheduled to outline his full budget proposal on Feb. 17 in a virtual message, although details have not been finalized, according to his office.

Public university presidents recently wrote Gov. JB Pritzker, asking him to make higher education a priority area for COVID-19 vaccinations. But with only a limited number of doses available, Pritzker said he made the decision to place higher ed staff and students in the 1C class--or at least behind K-12 employees.

Sangamon Co. Judge Tosses Decision Voiding Pritzker’s Executive Orders

Dec 23, 2020
Capitol News Illinois file photo

In early July, a judge in downstate Clay County voided Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive orders in a sweeping order that he applied to the entire state, at the request of a southern Illinois lawmaker who sued Pritzker over his response to the pandemic.

More than six months later, Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow has essentially voided Judge Michael McHaney’s July 2 order in the case of Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia.

Illinois leaders continue to add to their COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan once doses become available to the general public.

State Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says it will be an All-In Illinois effort.

Governor J-B Pritzker provided more details Friday on Illinois' vaccine distribution plan.

Pritzker says the first round will go to healthcare workers and long-term care residents, known as Phase 1A.

With Potential Vaccine Approval Looming, Pritzker Warns of Long Distribution Process

Dec 4, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Health officials gave an update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine plan Friday with potential federal approval anticipated as early as next week.

Gov. JB Pritzker said the state still expects to get 109,000 doses initially to be distributed in the 50 counties with the highest per capita death rates, but it will be several months until there is an adequate number of vaccinations available for the general population.

UPDATED: Despite Positive Signs, Pritzker Warns of Another COVID-19 Surge

Nov 30, 2020

Despite some slight improvement in key public health metrics over the past week, Gov. JB Pritzker said he has no immediate plans to roll back COVID-19 mitigation efforts as he warned of a possible post-Thanksgiving surge.

State Issues Stricter Mitigations Amid Hospitalization Surge

Nov 17, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker announced the entire state would enter Tier 3 of his mitigation plan starting Friday as he noted the best way for Illinoisans to avoid another stay-at-home order was by staying home.

“Tier 3 boils down to this: if you don’t need to do it, don’t,” Gov. JB Pritzker said of leaving the home as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to soar.

Forecasters Project Long-Term Deficits, Growing Bill Backlog

Nov 16, 2020

A new report from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget shows that without significant new revenue, spending cuts or a combination of both, the state will face a budget deficit of $3.9 billion in the current fiscal year and continuing deficits of $4 billion or more in each of the next five fiscal years.

It also projects that the state’s backlog of unpaid bills could grow to as much as $33 billion by fiscal year 2026, up from the current backlog total of about $7.8 billion, if lawmakers do not make structural changes.

A southern Illinois school administrator says the vote by the Illinois High School Association's Board of Directors to allow basketball to proceed against the recommendation of the State Public Health Department and Governor J-B Pritzker has put districts between a rock and a hard place.

UPDATED 5:45 p.m. | The high school basketball season will play on as planned despite a surge in COVID-19 cases across Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting four thousand new COVID-19 cases Tuesday.

Over half of the state's regions are under stricter mitigations -- including no indoor dining because of rising test positivity rates.

Pritzker: State Headed Into COVID-19 Peak ‘Potentially Beyond’ April Highs

Oct 22, 2020

Region 1 of the state’s COVID-19 mitigation plan will see a new tier of virus mitigations as Gov. JB Pritzker warned Thursday that “we are now headed into a peak that is beyond, potentially, where we were in March and April.”

“This pandemic is the greatest challenge that many of us have experienced in our lifetimes,” Pritzker said during a St. Clair County news conference Thursday. “And when it comes to managing this pandemic, these mitigations are our best tools to find our way through to the other side.”

Pritzker Renews Call for More Federal Aid

Oct 21, 2020

Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday renewed his call for more federal aid for struggling state and local governments as well as small businesses, but talks in Washington may be stalled until after Election Day.

Number of Regions Slated for Added COVID-19 Mitigations Jumps to 4

Oct 20, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Two more of the 11 regions of the state’s COVID-19 mitigation plan have reached a threshold necessitating increased restrictions, joining two other regions which remain above the key metric.

Will and Kankakee counties in Region 7 and DuPage and Kane counties in Region 8 will be closed for indoor service at bars and restaurants and will see capacity limits of 25 people or 25 percent of maximum occupancy among other restrictions. The mitigations will take effect Friday.

State Announces 2nd Round of Broadband Expansion Grants

Oct 20, 2020

State officials on Monday announced the opening of a second round of grant opportunities for businesses and organizations to expand access to broadband internet service in underserved communities.

Speaking at a news conference in Staunton, about 40 miles northeast of St. Louis, Gov. JB Pritzker said the program will help close a digital divide that existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many people to start working from home and students to attend classes remotely.

Pritzker Back to Daily Briefings as Pandemic Picture Worsens

Oct 19, 2020

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 and the rolling seven-day test positivity rate for the virus increased again in Illinois on Monday, mirroring national trends.

Gov. JB Pritzker said at a Jackson County news conference Monday the state would increase mitigations in southern Illinois and announced he would once again hold daily weekday COVID-19 briefings until metrics start to decrease.

10-19-20 | WATCH: Gov. Pritzker COVID-19 Update

Oct 19, 2020
Kane Reinholdtsen / Unsplash.com

Gov. Pritzker joins local health experts from the Jackson County Health Department to give a COVID-19 update. Begins at 2:30pm.

Watch Live | Listen Live


Gov. Pritzker to join local leaders to announce the next wave of funding for Broadband grants. Press conference begins at 10:30am.

Watch Live | Listen Live

WATCH: Gov. JB Pritzker Provides COVID-19 Update (Oct 14)

Oct 14, 2020
Kane Reinholdtsen / Unsplash.com

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker will update the state's reaction and mitigation measures for COVID-19.

You can watch Gov. Pritzker's remarks live. The event starts at 12:00pm CDT.

Watch Live | Listen Only

Pritzker Administration Announces $4.5 Million ‘Racial Healing’ Initiative

Oct 7, 2020

Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton unveiled a $4.5 million initiative Tuesday that is meant to foster dialogue and promote racial healing in the state.

The Healing Illinois initiative is a grant program launched in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust that will be overseen by the Illinois Department of Human Services.


After a member of his staff recently tested positive for COVID-19, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker  Wednesday gave his weekly  briefing from quarantine, and reported nine out of 11 regions have seen positivity rates decline, over the last two weeks.  But  Region one, in the northwest part of the state, has surpassed a positivity rate of eight percent for three days in a row.  As a result, the Governor says, stricter measures will be in force, including no indoor bar service or dining in that region.

Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The state announced Halloween COVID-19 guidance encouraging social distancing while trick-or-treating, and the governor took questions in a virtual news conference Wednesday.