Billionaire JB Pritzker Campaigns in Peoria, Throws Shade at Rauner

May 26, 2017

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and billionaire businessman JB Pritzker campaigned in Peoria Fri. to distinguish himself from another wealthy Illinoisan -- Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Pritzker visited Easter Seals to highlight how the budget impasse is limiting the social service provider’s ability to provide for high-need children and families, particularly those on Medicaid. Pritzker criticized Rauner for tying a budget to his agenda that includes overhauling the state’s pension system. Pritzker called those priorities “irrelevant” to passing a budget.

JB Pritzker speaks with Emily Wright and Nia Stagg about Easter Seals' Applied Behavior Analysis program, which is a therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder that aims to transition kids into a regular classroom setting.
Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

“Fine, let’s go debate all of the points that he wants to debate at some point," Pritzker said. "We’ve been in a crisis for two years that he’s created as a result of not passing  a budget. We desperately need a budget.”

Instead, Pritzker's proposing a progressive income tax structure that would require wealthier residents and corporations to pay more.

The venture capitalist from Chicago has been under fire after documents surfaced that shows he received $230,000 in property tax breaks by reporting to the Cook County Assessor that a vacant multi-million dollar home was “uninhabitable.” Pritzker minimized those reports. 

“The GOP has turned this into something much more than it is," Pritzker said. "They want to make an issue out of something that they shouldn’t, and it’s because they have nothing to run on, and so attacks is all they have.”

Pritzker says he applied “only one year” to have his taxes reduced on the Gold Coast property that’s adjacent to his address.