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Outside of security, ‘much of’ overseas trip Pritzker says he paid for himself

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Monday, January 23, 2023  |  Article  |  Greg Bishop

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’s ready to return to Illinois after traveling overseas to attend a global conference of various world leaders from business and government. He says he personally paid for “much” of the trip.

 

Pritzker attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week. He took part in discussions, including one on the landscape of domestic politics in the United States.

 

“Certainly if you ask the public, do you think that Congress or that states should work in a bipartisan fusion, the answer is ‘yes,’” Pritzker said Tuesday. “But what they really mean in my view is that they want to get things done.”

 

On the global stage, Pritzker heralded Illinois' passage of legislation that closes coal fired power plants by 2045 while subsidizing renewable energy. He also promoted his ban on semi-automatic guns, a law being challenged on constitutional grounds. Pritzker even touted his work at expanding access to abortion.

 

During a conference call with members of Illinois’ media Thursday, Pritzker addressed critics who said he’s “hobnobbing” with “leftist global elites.”

 

“It’s important for Illinois to be seen on a world stage as a destination for the companies that exist across the world,” Pritzker said.

 

While overseas, the governor did make a side-trip to a manufacturing plant in Germany. He said the Wieland trip helps encourage the company to expand its existing footprint in Illinois.

 

During Thursday’s conference call, Pritzker responded to a report while meeting with world leaders that he was overheard talking about running for president. He said he was just responding to a media question at the time.

 

“And I was simply responding as I have to you that I have every intention to serve out four years that I just won as governor,” he said.

 

How much the trip is costing taxpayers isn’t yet known.

 

“Much of the trip is being covered by me and of course there’s security need so that’s covered by the state of Illinois [taxpayers],” Pritkzer said. “I guess I can get you a more extensive answer.”

Joining Pritzker on the trip was his wife, chief of staff, and two deputy governors.

 

Previous investigations by The Center Square showed the governor’s trip to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year cost taxpayers at least $14,284, a figure that didn’t include the cost of security.