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Pritzker rolls out budget transition team

ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- Governor-elect JB Pritzker is hitting the ground running.

In his first visit to the Capitol since the election, he announced big plans to address one of the most important jobs he has: balancing the budget.

Thursday, he rolled out the "dream team" he hopes will get the job done. It won't be an easy task and there's no word how soon a plan could be revealed.

In Thursday's news conference, Pritzker says he wants a report done by the time of his inauguration, but he acknowledged it's not going to be easy. It's why he brought in former comptroller Dan Hynes to chair his budget transition committee.

He and other members of the new team were at the presser. They include familiar names like Senator Andy Manar and Decatur Mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe.

They'll have to tackle, not only last year's unbalanced budget, but also the state's debt problem which continues getting worse. Comptroller Susana Mendoza says the backlog will soon reach $9 billion.

Pritzker will also have to negotiate new union contracts which cuts out another almost $3 million. Pritzker says committee meetings will not be public, but the report they come up with will be.

When it comes to finding new revenue, Pritzker says it's all being evaluated. Pritzker also supports legalization of marijuana and sports betting to help bring the state some relief.

A lot of factors to consider. It will be interesting to see what the teams come up with. They'll need to work fast. The governor's budget address is set for February. 

Juliana Stratton is chair of the transition team. Thursday, she and Pritzker explained more announcements are to come.  

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