President Barack Obama is slated to give a speech before the Illinois legislature next month.
Obama, a former Illinois state senator, will visit the legislature on February 10 and is expected to talk about "what we can do, together, to build a better politics -- one that reflects our better selves," a White House announcement said.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is in a nearly eight-month-old budget battle with Democrats, released the following statement upon news of Obama's planned visit:
I look forward to welcoming President Obama to the State Capitol and hearing him speak about finding common ground between Republicans and Democrats. Despite our political differences, the president and I share a passion for improving education, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, a belief in the benefits of term limits and redistricting reform for restoring good government, and a strong desire to see more economic opportunity for all Illinoisans. I know we can achieve great things for Illinois by having mutual respect for one another and focusing on bipartisan compromise to achieve what's best for the long-term future of our great state.
Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), who sent a note to the president on January 19 "suggesting it was a good time for a return," is pleased to hear of the impending visit.
"President Obama's State of the Union address struck a chord with its call for a more civil politics and working to find areas of agreement," he said. "Clearly, that's what we need here. I'm looking forward to seeing the president again and I'm happy he's coming back to where he started."