But there’s much more work to do.
That’s why we are rededicating a new Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois next week.
And why we’re building Phase 2 of a new campus for Western Illinois in the Quad Cities.
And why we’ve just completed a new automotive aeronautics building at SIU in Carbondale.
In our Illinois, anything is possible.especially when it comes to educating our students.
But let’s be frank.
The pension squeeze is draining our ability to teach our students. Our children are being shortchanged. And in the end, that shortchanges our economy, too.
That’s not our Illinois.
In our Illinois, we find a way to get hard things done.
We address the hard issues. Issues like the threat of gun violence.
Last December, our hearts broke along with the parents of the children who died in the horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
And our hearts break every day with families who suffer from violence in Illinois communities.families like the Pendletons, whose daughter Hadiya Pendleton was stolen from us last week.
I spoke with Hadiya’s family on Monday. There are no words in the English language.or any language.to relieve the pain of parents who lose a child.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Jeremiah wept day and night for the slain of his people.
Today, we all weep over the senseless violence in our communities.
But as elected officials, we’re in a position to do something about it. We have life-saving work to do.
We cannot wait for another tragedy to happen before we take action.
We must move forward with a comprehensive plan that includes gun safety legislation, mental health care, and violence prevention strategies.
That’s why today, I ask you to move forward with strong public safety legislation that will safeguard the people of Illinois.