President Obama Will Address Illinois Legislature In February

By aaroncynic in News on Jan 29, 2016 7:15PM

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Obama shakes hands with supporters at a campaign rally at the Old State Capitol in August 2008. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
President Barack Obama will return to Illinois to deliver an address to the Illinois State General Assembly Feb, 10, according to an advisory sent to reporters on Friday.

“Now, in the final year of his second term, the President looks forward to addressing the Illinois General Assembly about what we can do, together, to build a better politics-one that reflects our better selves,” said Kaelan Richards, regional communications director for the White House, CBS2 reports.

Obama announced his first presidential run at the Capitol on the same date in 2007. “It was here, in Springfield, where North, South, East and West come together that I was reminded of the essential decency of the American people—where I came to believe that through this decency, we can build a more hopeful America,” said the President, then a state senator.

The speech will come one day after the administration plans to release its final budget proposal, which the President is expected to address. It also comes at the same time Illinois is facing a budget impasse, now in its 8th month. Gov. Bruce Rauner mentioned Obama in his state of the state speech yesterday, speaking of his favorability on term limits and redistricting reform.

A White House official told CNN:

“As a state senator, he spent each day in the Illinois State Capitol working in good faith with folks from all walks of life -- Democrats and Republicans and independents representing good people of every ethnicity and faith -- determined to do right by the people of the state he made his home. And as a United States senator from Illinois, he chose the steps of the Old State Capitol, where Abraham Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, to ask Americans to join him in the unfinished business of perfecting our union."

***Update 1:30pm***

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he welcomes the President's visit. In a statement released to Rich Miller at Capitol Fax, Rauner said:

“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.”