Letter to the editor,
I hope you are paying attention to the ongoing battle in Springfield over the direction of our state. The disagreements between Governor Rauner and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan are about to go viral and will affect every resident. Yet there is time to avoid a government shut-down and the resulting significant inconvenience and damage it would cause to a lot of families.
Over the past four months the General Assembly and Governor should have been discussing a budget and policy reforms that would stop the out-migration of our jobs and citizens, plus put us on a fiscal track to pay our bills and get out of debt. I have been a part of many of these so called “closed meetings” and witnessed the dynamics created by these two leaders.
For his part, Governor Rauner has been engaged in the negotiations and willing to modify his turnaround agenda. Speaker Madigan has been playing a waiting game apparently in hopes that the Governor would abandon altogether his reforms, agree to raise revenue and just keep spending the way the Speaker has directed for the past 12 years. That is a losing strategy, not for any particular party, but for the entire state. If the Governor agrees to pass a budget and wait to discuss reforms, I doubt there will ever be any of the desperately needed changes to state policies.
So our state is headed toward July 1, when a new budget year begins, with little hope of having an appropriation bill signed into law. You may have heard Comptroller Leslie Munger while she was traveling around the state last week outline the major consequences of a failure to reach a budget agreement and a shut-down of all but the most essential state services.
Let’s work in the days ahead to avoid a government shut-down. Join me and the Comptroller in a call to Speaker Madigan to quit the posturing and work with the governor. Contact the Speaker’s office in Chicago or Springfield and let him know Illinois needs to balance its budget and change its policies to stop the loss of jobs and out-migration of frustrated citizens. Let’s all raise our voices to get Illinois working again.
Contact Speaker Madigan at his district office (773) 581-8000 or at his Springfield office (217) 782-5350