FAIRFIELD, Ill. (WEHT) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker made an out of the ordinary stop in Fairfield to talk with residents about the 2024 state budget investments.

It includes the creation of “Smart Start Illinois”, which would provide hundreds of millions of dollars for early education and child care programs across the state.

Governor Pritzker says it will eliminate “preschool deserts”, giving quality pre-school education to 5,000 more children over its first year.

Although many were surprised by Pritzker’s visit, not everyone was as eager about it.

State republicans were very critical about it and say to the best of their knowledge, this is the first visit Pritzker has made to the Tri-State since 2021.