SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker’s first budget proposal takes a creative and aggressive approach to tackling the state’s financial problems while also investing in future opportunities for public school children and offering today’s working families a helping hand. Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement after the governor’s speech.

“I give the governor credit for offering specifics. His plan is filled with ideas — real, doable, constitutional ideas. Now, whether or not they happen remains to be seen. That’s what the legislative process is for. But I commend Governor Pritzker for stepping forward today and presenting specifics. It’s a heck of a lot better than an empty “$4.6 billion by working together” line we saw in past years.

This is a budget that’s about restoring stability and functionality to state government. That’s what we need to build for the future.

Does it solve all of our problems? No. But it’s a vital step in the right direction.

There’s increased school funding. That means more resources for local public schools everywhere in Illinois, and that means more opportunities for our children.

There’s additional support for working families. You see it with the increased funding for child care assistance. Under this plan, a family of four making $50,000 would qualify for help with child care costs.

There’s more financial aid for college students.

The Chicago Veterans Home – a modern care facility for our veterans – would finally open.

I give the governor credit for being creative, aggressive and specific in his budget, and I look forward to working with him to bring it to reality.”