Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot traveled the 202 miles from City Hall to the state capitol on Wednesday, where she met with Gov. J.B. Pritzker and powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan and gave a rare address to the Illinois House.
Her schedule Thursday calls for a similar speech in the Senate and a meeting with state Senate President John Cullerton.
She’ll need Springfield’s help to advance parts of her agenda – whether it be gun control legislation, a bill for an elected public school board, money to help pay for infrastructure upgrades, pension relief, extra revenue or approval for a casino in Chicago.
Lightfoot said she recognizes there can only be one mayor at a time, but she’s “not going to wait until May 20 (her inauguration date) to be active and engaged in the General Assembly.”
Still, she said she’s not putting her “cards on the table quite yet” when it comes to what she’s looking for from Springfield when it comes to revenue.
“But we’re looking at a range of options,” she said. “And obviously there’s limited powers regarding revenue that a mayor can exercise. A lot of the powers that we can tap into flow from Springfield. So when we think about what our menu of solutions are, obviously Springfield looms large and we’ll make sure that we’ll come up with solutions we can get through the General Assembly, with the help of the governor and the leaders.”
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