Inaugural Speech Lays Out Agenda

Rep. Pritchard's Perspective on Illinois Politics

Rep. Pritchard's Perspective on Illinois Politics

Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.

A number of people I talked with had problems staying awake during the inaugural addresses of Governor Quinn and Speaker Madigan last week.  Personally I like to listen to the speeches for any clues about their agendas and possible legislation I will be facing.

The closest the Governor came to setting an agenda for the next four years was to say “we will pay our bills” and his highest priority is to create “J-O-B-s.”  He spelled out the word for emphasis but as for a plan, all he could suggest was “[t]oday is our giant hour, and nothing less than gianthood will do for all of us in Illinois to confront our awesome challenges.”

Unlike many other governors, Quinn didn’t use his inaugural to talk about specific ideas for recovery, how his administration might make it less costly to do business in the state, or suggest he would streamline government operations.  Governor Quinn was more interested in quoting poets and former presidents than in saying something profound that would catch the imagination of a people longing for responsible leadership.

Speaker Madigan, on the other hand, in his inaugural address reviewed a long list of accomplishments of the 96th General Assembly and then tipped his hand (as he rarely does) about his agenda for the next year.  He is laser focused on worker compensation reform that arguably is the key to attract more businesses to Illinois and get current ones to expand here.  He is also planning education reforms which include making it easier to remove poor teachers from the classroom, and additional state pension reforms.

The speeches were quite a contrast in leadership styles and forced listeners to realize there will be no change in who is setting the direction for our state in the next two years.

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Robert W. Pritchard (R-Hinckley) is the Illinois State Representative for the 70th district, serving the residents in portions of DeKalb, Boone, and Kane Counties. Bob has been serving in the Illinois House since 2003. Pritchard, affectionately known as Bob, has been serving in the Illinois House since 2003. Biography Bob was born February 2, 1945. He grew up on a farm outside Hinckley, Illinois where growing corn and soybeans instilled in him hard work and a sense of dedication. Bob and his family continue to their hard work by farming. He is married to his wife Mary, Associate Dean at Northern Illinois University, and has two grown sons, Matthew and Gregory. Education Bob majored in communications from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) earning both his bachelors and masters degree. Bob’s passion for farming and his education in communication gave him the unique opportunity to enjoy working in both fields. Professional Life Beginning as a Radio and TV broadcaster for a local area stations, Bob delivered the farming updates and local weather reports. Bob took advantage of his skills and has worked for universities as well as filled marketing, public relations, and community relation roles at DeKalb Genetics Corporation and Monsanto. Community Leader Before becoming a member of the Illinois House of Representatives Bob was an energetic and busy contributor to the communities of DeKalb County. Getting his hands dirty in all parts of local government, Bob served on the Hinckley-Big Rock Board of Education. Bob was never far from his roots in the farming community, and was elected to a leadership position for the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. He also served as chairman for the DeKalb County Board. Legislative History Bob has diligently worked for the betterment on a wide gamut of issues from early childhood and education, healthcare, conservation and the environment, job creation, and protecting the manufacturing industry. The values of hard work and dedication that were instilled in Bob from his years of farming are reflected in his mentality of representing his constituents.


  1. The last paragraph is a little unsettling to me. It seems to assume that the rest of our state legislation has no role or opportunity in setting the direction for our state. Altho the chief executive of our state, the governor does not control all. Please don’t use this as an excuse to throw up your hands in defeat.

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