State Sen. John Millner said Tuesday that Democrats and Republicans in Springfield must work together if they are to solve the state's fiscal crisis. After an overwhelming victory in Tuesday's election, Millner will return to represent the 28th Senate District and encourage that collaboration.
"I'm sick and tired of the bickering between parties," he said at a post-victory celebration in Bloomingdale. "We have to sit down and talk about what we can do to prevent this from happening."
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Unofficial vote totals in the 28th District show Millner, a Republican from Carol Stream, won a second 4-year term. With all precincts in Kane and DuPage counties reporting and 68 of 71 in Cook County reporting, Millner had received 63 percent of the vote and while Democratic challenger Corinne Pierog had 37 percent.
The Carol Stream Republican praised Pierog for her campaign and said he understood the difficulty he faces in his return.
"It's one of the things that carries a responsibility," Millner said. "It's not about me. It's about the constituents and the people of the state of Illinois."
Millner, who was first elected to the senate in 2006, said he would first push for a change in the state's job climate, noting that most business owners say the state's instability at the top hinders efforts to attract business.
Millner credited his outreach during his first full term in the state senate for the win.
During the campaign, Millner defended himself against Pierog's accusations that he is "double-dipping." The 31-year law enforcement officer drew a $103,000 pension last year while accepting his state senator pay. Millner, a 59-year-old law enforcement consultant, defended himself, saying he earned the pension after putting his life on the line for decades.
During the campaign, he said he will seek Medicaid reform, including measures that would require proof of residency and financial need.
He said these reforms, coupled with an effort to seek federal Medicaid matching rates that align with surrounding states, will help drive down a $13 billion budget deficit.
Like many others, he said the state's financial situation leaves no place for partisan argument.
"We need to get our budget under control," he said. "Whoever is there, I will work with."
The 28th District includes all or portions of South Elgin, St. Charles, Schaumburg, Roselle, Carol Stream, Bartlett, Bloomingdale and Wayne.