JB Pritzker signs 2 executive orders on first day as governor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- On his first day as governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker signed two executive orders.

Pritzker arrived for work with a backpack slung over his shoulder and the burden of governing waiting for him in his new office.

His first day was filled with the common tasks of taking on a new job, like getting set up with computers and email. As workers installed new LED bulbs in the chandeliers to brighten the governor's office, Pritzker called for new light to be shined on state agencies, boards and commissions.

"As my first executive order as governor, I'm directing all state agencies to usher in a new era of transparency," he said during the signing ceremony.

"I think it sets a very good tone, a strong tone, that some of the games of the past are not going to be tolerated," said State Rep. Will Davis, assistant majority leader.

Pritzker also signed a second executive order ensuring state agencies do not ask female job candidates their salary history to prevent artificially low salaries for women.

Pritzker did not say how much his inaugural bash Monday night cost - he paid for it himself - but he said it was important.

"We simply wanted everybody to have a good time after the new administration had taken office," he said.

Also on the governor's early agenda was raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He said he will work with lawmakers to implement it over several years, but small businesses will not be exempt.

"Everybody deserves this wage. We're not going to leave a worker out because they happen to work for a small business," he said.

Pritzker also began the process of hiking pay for state workers by restoring the step increases many have not received since 2015. But Republicans said it will cost $1.5 billion and questioned where the money will come from at a time the state already has billions in debt.
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