Democratic governor Illinois Campain website

JB Pritzker

Throughout my life, I’ve taken on big challenges — and I’m proud to see how we’re making progress and moving Illinois in the right direction. My values have led me to do big things that have a lasting impact on people’s lives, and since taking office in 2019 as Governor of Illinois I’ve been working every day to put our government back on the side of working families.

We’ve gotten a lot done during my time in office.

Together, we raised the minimum wage to a living wage; launched the largest program to build roads, bridges, schools, and broadband in Illinois history; expanded health care, child care, and early childhood education; made college more affordable; enshrined protections for reproductive rights into law; and put Illinois back on the path to fiscal stability — in addition to navigating the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic.

But I know we have more to do.

I’m proud of the progress we have already made, and there is so much more to do for working families. As we continue to tackle this pandemic and overcome issues working families are facing, I’m confident in our ability to meet the challenge and continue to get big things done for the people of Illinois.

I’m the husband of the best First Lady in the nation and the dad of two great kids. Since I first met MK more than 30 years ago, she has been my partner in everything, and I’m so happy that the love of my life is helping to make our state a better place to raise a family. We’re very proud of our two children, and we’re reminded every day that the work we do right now is about making a better life for generations to come.

I’m an entrepreneur and an innovator.

Before becoming Governor, I led the creation of 1871, a non-profit business incubator that has helped create over 11,000 jobs and made Chicago one of the top tech hubs in the world. As Governor, I’ve added nine new innovation hubs to help entrepreneurs build new businesses, expanded Small Business Development Centers, grown skills training programs to prepare Illinoisans for the jobs of the future, brought tax relief to small businesses, and implemented the nation’s largest infrastructure plan creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs. During the COVID crisis, my administration stepped up where the federal government failed, creating the nation’s largest grant program to help small businesses get through the pandemic.

I’ve fought for justice and equity.

I’ve always stood up for a woman’s right to choose, and as Governor I was honored to sign legislation to protect reproductive rights in Illinois even if the US Supreme Court tries to overturn Roe v. Wade. MK and I have been supporters of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, which has become a national leader in overturning wrongful convictions of the innocent. When we legalized cannabis in Illinois, we created the most equity-centric law in the nation to guarantee investment in communities hit hardest by the war on drugs, and I have pardoned over 11,000 people convicted of low-level cannabis offenses. The Lieutenant Governor and I worked with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on their four pillars, and together we enacted historic reforms to tackle inequities in criminal justice, education, economic opportunity, and health care.

I’ve been a lifelong champion for early childhood development.

I’ve been a national leader in supporting early childhood education, and I’ve worked tirelessly to make historic investments in these programs to help kids across the state and expand access to preschool services to thousands more children. And when COVID struck, I’m proud that Illinois led the nation with a grant program to help reopen child care centers.

We followed the science to fight this pandemic.

When COVID hit, we were forced to face many tough decisions over the last year and a half. Every decision we made was guided by science and by the advice of medical professionals. And through it all, it’s been the people of Illinois — the doctors and the nurses, friends and family, neighbors and even strangers — who came together to take on this pandemic.

Building for the Future

JB has worked with both parties to enact the largest infrastructure improvement plan in state history and set up a clean energy future for Illinois — creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs throughout our state.

  • Launched the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the largest in state history, to rebuild roads, bridges, and schools while creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs
  • Took action on climate by putting the state on a path toward 100% clean energy while investing in training a diverse workforce for emerging clean energy industries
  • Positioned Illinois to be the best state in the nation to drive and manufacture an electric vehicle by providing incentives to electric vehicle manufacturers and electric vehicle rebates to consumers
  • Established two Manufacturing Training Academies to provide 21st century manufacturing training to downstate residents
  • Offered workforce and financial assistance to communities transitioning away from dirty energy
  • Launched Connect Illinois to expand broadband internet access across the entire state
  • Invested millions toward the Illinois Apprenticeship Program to expand innovative and high-quality apprenticeship programs that prepare Illinoisans for jobs in high-demand industries
  • Invested $200 million in the Quantum Exchange, a hub for researchers, to support breakthroughs in quantum information and science

Expanding Quality, Affordable Health Care

JB believes that health care is a right, not a privilege, and as Governor he has been fighting to expand access to care, improve the quality of care available, and make it more affordable.

  • Eliminated the Medicaid backlog left by the previous administration and expanded health care to hundreds of thousands more Illinoisans
  • Lowered the cost of prescription drugs and increased transparency around pricing
  • Capped the price of insulin to reduce the cost of a life-saving medicine
  • Enshrined reproductive rights in state law, protecting the freedom to choose before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade
  • Strengthened critical access hospitals in rural communities
  • Fully funded nursing home rate reform and a redesigned provider assessment to maximize federal dollars, encourage staffing, and improve quality
  • Provided $3.8 billion to hospitals to increase access to medical treatment in underserved communities
  • Made Illinois the first state in the nation to provide Medicaid postpartum coverage to mothers for one year after baby’s birth
  • Expanded insurance coverage for mammograms and other breast cancer screenings
  • Increased funding for crisis mental health services, suicide prevention, and substance abuse treatment
  • Expanded Medicaid to cover gender-affirming surgeries for transgender adults

Keeping Illinoisans Safe

JB knows that his most important job is to protect Illinois families. He’s put in place common-sense reforms to strengthen public safety in every corner of our state because everyone deserves to feel safe in their community.

  • Doubled the amount of funding for violence prevention and anti-violence programs
  • Launched the Reimagine Public Safety Initiative, backed by $500 million to support community groups working to reduce violence in communities hit the hardest by crime
  • Increased access and funding for mental healthcare, suicide prevention, and substance abuse treatment, including telehealth coverage for mental health services
  • Improved public safety by adding hundreds of new troopers to the depleted ranks of the Illinois State Police and funding the largest cadet class in state history
  • Pumped $30 million into multi-jurisdictional task forces to catch and crack down on carjackers and signed legislation addressing organized retail theft
  • Elevated and strengthened safety for first responders on state highways and doubled state police presence on Chicago-area interstates in response to on-road violence
  • Built new, state-of-the-art forensics labs to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to solve crimes
  • Provided tens of millions of dollars for police body cameras, retention grants, and mental health screenings
  • Implemented gun dealer licensing to eliminate straw purchases and reduce gun trafficking
  • Strengthened the Illinois State Police Division of Forensics Services to address the forensics backlog and introduced a new rape evidence tracking tool

Strengthening Rural and Downstate Communities

JB has worked tirelessly to serve all of Illinois and grow our rural and downstate communities. That’s why he’s worked to support our state’s farmers, small towns, and rural communities.

  • Launched Connect Illinois to expand broadband internet access across the entire state
  • Committed state resources and support to build the Cairo Port, which is projected to create 500 good-paying jobs and over $100 million of economic activity per year for Southern Illinois
  • Signed legislation authorizing casino licenses downstate, including Rockford, Walker’s Bluff, and Danville
  • Initiated and signed the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is building and repairing thousands of miles of roads and bridges across downstate Illinois
  • Offered discounts to farmers for acres of cover crops installed
  • Launched a pilot program to support quality improvements for child care providers in rural Illinois communities
  • Expanded wind and solar production downstate to create jobs and revitalize communities while protecting landowners
  • Invested $100 million to build new buildings and upgrade existing buildings at Southern Illinois University
  • Secured a $2.2 billion commitment from Taiwan to purchase Illinois corn and soybeans
  • Expanded skills development with new investments in vocational training and career and technical training in high school

Fighting for Equity, Opportunity, and Justice

From expanding voting rights to investing in historically underserved communities, JB’s administration is making social justice and the fight for equity a top priority in everything he’s done.

Investing in Communities
  • Established the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Initiative, led by the Lt. Governor, to advance criminal justice reform and equity-focused programs
  • Directed cannabis revenue toward investments in communities historically harmed by violence, excessive incarceration, and economic disinvestment
  • Doubled the amount of funding for violence prevention programs
  • Allocated $40 million for new home buyers, providing down payments and student loan repayment assistance to working families and communities of color across the state
Ensuring Equal Rights for All
  • Ensured votes will always be counted by increasing access to the ballot by expanding early voting and vote-by-mail
  • Built the most diverse executive branch cabinet and governor’s office in state history, including hiring the first-ever Chief Equity Officer to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout state agencies
  • Ensured every school in our state is safe, supportive, and inclusive for our trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming students
  • Expunged minor cannabis-related offenses for 700,000 Illinoisans, reducing barriers to employment, housing and professional licenses
  • Expanded the Illinois Human Rights Act to include LGBTQ+ residents as a protected class and expanded infertility insurance to cover LGBTQ+ families
  • Enacted an historic reform agenda, initiated by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, that begins to address systemic racism through criminal justice reform, equity in education, expanded economic opportunity, and improved health care
  • Created a uniform standard for people to correct gendered language on their birth and marriage certificates

Standing Up for Women and Families

From preserving the right to choose to fighting to keep families together, JB has worked to support women and families across Illinois.

  • Enshrined reproductive rights in state law, protecting the freedom of choice from the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Required abortions to be treated like any other medical procedure for insurance purposes
  • Expanded access to birth control, making Illinois the second state in the Midwest to require that birth control be made available through pharmacists and without a doctor’s visit
  • Expanded health care for children and pregnant women
  • Enhanced protections for domestic violence survivors from retaliation by their abusers and provided funding to domestic violence shelters across the state
  • Signed comprehensive legislation to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and protect victims who come forward
  • Strengthened the Illinois Equal Pay Act to ensure equal pay for equal work
  • Awarded the first de novo charter in 10 years to a unique, nation-first bank operated and owned by women, focused on lifting up women-owned small businesses
  • Raised minimum teacher salaries and strengthened the pipeline for recruitment of new educators
  • Increased death benefits for families of fallen first responders
  • Protected immigrant families by standing up to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies
  • Eliminated the years-long backlog of rape kit evidence to deliver justice to victims more quickly

Putting Illinois on the Path to Fiscal Health

Before JB became Governor, a dysfunctional Governor couldn’t even pass a budget for over two years — that meant services were cut, schools suffered, our credit rating was slashed, and families throughout the state paid the price for a governor who didn’t get the job done. Under JB’s leadership, Illinois is getting back on the right track, stabilizing our state’s finances and putting us on the path to fiscal stability.

  • Enacted four balanced budgets that invest in key priorities, including healthcare, education, and public safety, and pay down debts from the prior administration
  • Provided $1.8 billion in tax relief to working families, including eliminating the grocery tax for one year, freezing the gas tax increase for six months, and offering up to $300 property tax rebates per household
  • Eliminated the state’s nearly $17 billion bill backlog so Illinois is paying its bills on time and saving taxpayers money
  • Stabilized state finances, leading all three rating agencies to upgrade the state’s credit rating six times
  • Spearheaded efforts to improve transparency and accountability in government by mandating lobbyist disclosures and signing new ethics reforms into law
  • Consolidated 650 local pension plans to provide greater returns and save taxpayers money, accomplishing what previous governors and General Assemblies failed to do for decades
  • Reduced state pension liabilities by fully funding pension contributions, going above and beyond with payments, and expanding the employee pension buyout program
  • Closed $655 million per year in corporate loopholes

Supporting Jobs, Small Businesses, and Our Economy

JB believes that increasing wages and supporting small businesses are the keys to building a strong economy in every corner of our state. His administration is making smart investments in technology and innovation and is providing support and incentives to businesses to create jobs throughout our state.

Investing in Job Creation
  • Launched the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the largest in state history, to rebuild roads, bridges, and schools while creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs
  • Cut taxes for 400,000 small businesses
  • Strengthened the Illinois Works Jobs Program by investing in community-based organizations to recruit diverse apprentices to work on the Rebuild Illinois capital program
  • Created new high-paying technology and construction jobs with a data center tax incentive program, as well as incentives for job creation on new construction and renovations in underserved communities
  • Attracted $1 billion in private and public investments in research centers of excellence focused on Illinois’ innovation industries, including the Discovery Partners Institute and 15 Illinois Innovation Network startup hubs around the state
Making Illinois’ Economy Work for Everyone
  • Raised the minimum wage to a living wage for all Illinois workers to give 1.4 million people a raise
  • Expanded access to banking services to reduce reliance on predatory lenders through the “Bank On” initiative and capped high-interest payday loans
  • Provided millions of Illinoisans relief from high interest on consumer debt
  • Developed a low-interest loan program to help small municipalities that were financially impacted by high natural gas prices due to extreme weather conditions
  • Created a business loan fund to expand opportunities for minority business owners
  • Supported community college workforce development programs that concentrate on high-growth industries
  • Created a business apprenticeship tax credit to encourage job growth and workforce development, in addition to creating the largest small business grant program in the nation
Creating Jobs and Fostering Innovation
  • Led the Midwest in business startup creation and had a higher business growth rate than Texas and Florida
  • Reopened seven Small Business Development Centers closed by Bruce Rauner and supported over 41,000 business owners in 2020, more than ever served before in the program
  • Extended the film industry tax credit, creating and supporting thousands of entertainment industry jobs
  • Invested in the innovation economy with new business incubators and an extension of the research and development tax credit for manufacturers
  • Established annual reporting on corporate board diversity for public companies to encourage greater representation
Improving Education from Cradle to Career

JB knows how important it is to provide a quality education for our children — that’s why he has made improving Illinois’ education system one of his top priorities. From expanding access to early childhood education to raising teacher salaries to making college more affordable, JB is working to correct the failures of previous administrations.

Early Childhood Education
  • Expanded child care assistance eligibility so 80% of Illinois families will pay less for child care
  • Strengthened early childhood education and child care with the biggest investment ever in Illinois into early childhood programs and facilities, setting a goal to make Illinois the best state in the nation for raising young families
  • Created an early childhood workforce consortium among higher education institutions that will expand both the size and skill level of educators and caregivers
  • Launched a pilot program to support quality improvements for child care providers in rural Illinois communities
  • Increased access to early childhood education to provide learning opportunities for very young children
K-12 Education
  • Provided historic funding levels for K-12 students across the state, increasing overall education funding by more than $1 billion
  • Raised the minimum salary for teachers
  • Signed legislation to make it easier to hire and keep substitute teachers in classrooms
  • Expanded skills development with new investments in vocational training and career and technical training in high school
College Affordability
  • Awarded more than 24,000 additional need-based grants for students and increased the maximum size of each scholarship to a record amount
  • Expanded the number of Illinois students eligible for federal tuition aid, giving a record number of students the opportunity to fund their college education
  • Restored and stabilized higher education funding after years of neglect, increasing aid for public universities and community colleges
  • Extended financial aid to eligible students who are undocumented
  • Dedicated $2.9 billion to build state-of-the-art classrooms and rebuild deteriorated school buildings throughout the state