Pritzker takes oath as 43rd Illinois governor

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Democrat J.B. Pritzker has been sworn in as the 43rd governor of Illinois. Pritzker took the oath Monday at the downtown Springfield convention center. The billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel chain defeated first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in November.

Pritzker has pledged to revise the state income tax structure to make wealthy taxpayers pay a greater share. He will likely move quickly in the just-begun session of the General Assembly to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and to put together a long-desired capital construction plan to fix roads, bridges, and schools.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the history of Illinois is “a story of leaps forward and occasional stumbles back” but that change depends on “what we can do together.”

The Democrat took swipes at his predecessor in his inaugural address Monday. He says not everything in the state is “broken” and that state government is not the enemy. These were mantras repeated by former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Pritzker defeated Rauner in November. Rauner clashed with Democrats over his insistence on making government more business-friendly, leading to a two-year budget stalemate and billions of dollars in debt.

Democrats comprise the entire statewide slate. Incoming Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton and Attorney General Kwame Raoul also were to be inaugurated, along with Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

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