Greising: An Illinois House speaker talking about voter trust? More of that, please.

New Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch still is in the early days of his first big turn on the public stage. He told the Economic Club of Chicago last week that Gov. J.B. Pritzker should try a do-over on the graduated income tax — and then, in a forum the very next day, said he was just “spitballing” those remarks.

Illinois State Capitol (Éovart Caçeir)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

OK, so new Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch still is in the early days of his first big turn on the public stage.

He told the Economic Club of Chicago last week that Gov. J.B. Pritzker should try a do-over on the graduated income tax — and then, in a forum the very next day, said he was just “spitballing” those remarks.

Yet even as he clawed back his initial statement, he went off script again. Asked if he would consider an amendment to the state constitution that prohibits any cut to pension benefits, Welch said, “Let’s have a conversation about it.”

Here is what we are seeing in real time: A thoughtful, independent-minded new statehouse leader doing what comes naturally to the rest of us. Welch is thinking creatively, talking relatively freely and trying to remain open to any reasonable option that might help the state of Illinois.

Read more at the chicagotribune.com