Anyone tuned into Illinois politics knows that the General Assembly adjourned its regular Session May 31 without passing a budget. Illinois has been without a budget since July 1st of last year. That means we are about to enter our second fiscal year without a comprehensive fiscal plan. At this time there is a constant push for “stop-gap” budgets, in which six-month budgets are drawn to allow us to keep kicking the can down the road, and pay those in need in time. This is not what Illinois needs. This State needs a full budget along with long-term solutions to the problems that ail it.
For the better part of the last eight years the State of Illinois has been careening from crisis to crisis. We had a tax increase that expired with no plan on how to shrink the size and cost of government. We had pension reform that was ruled unconstitutional by Illinois’ Supreme Court. We have failed to address the business climate that is seeing jobs leave the state. We have passed dishonest budgets, and we’ve always kicked the can down the road and made terrific groups and individuals wait for their due funding.
Our job in Springfield is to be good stewards of the State of Illinois. We have some of the greatest natural and man-made resources in the country, and the only thing holding us back is a handful of people unable to put policy ahead of political games. The worst part of the budget crisis is the uncertainty it creates for so many individuals. Planning becomes difficult, costs increase. This is true for individuals, businesses, and non-profits. Everyone operating in and/or with the state is affected by the uncertainty. When social service providers are unsure about funding, they are unsure about making all financial decisions. Should they extend a lease? Hire a new qualified person? Lay someone off? Etc. Also, the vendors that work for the state are up-charging us because they must wait so long to be paid, which means that we are paying MORE for LESS services. Providing certainty would allow us to do the opposite. And when we must push for emergency stop-gap budgets, they only guarantee more uncertainty for at least the next six months.
The budget impasse has been going on for a year and a half. It’s time for a balanced budget. It’s time to address our unfavorable job climate. It’s time for students to have faith in our Higher Education system again. It’s time for social services to have certainty in their funding. It’s time for the state to address its inefficient ways of providing government service. A six month budget is not the final solution. The people of Illinois shouldn’t have to wait another day for a full-year budget solution.
Knowing this, since the budget impasse began I have stated that Members of the Illinois General Assembly should go without pay until the budget impasse is ended. I want more comprehensive solutions for Illinois, and less notorious political games. Feel free to head over to www.nobudgetnopayil.com to sign my petition which makes it clear that legislators shouldn’t be paid until they pass a balanced budget.
Please mark your calendar for my three upcoming Fairs! These Fairs help me stay in tune with District 97, and add to my office’s service to its constituents.
FRIDAY, JUNE 17 9AM to 12:00PM – SENIOR FAIR at St. Mary’s Immaculate Parish. The Senior Fair will involve many state, county, local and health organizations to help constituents with any concerns. Free refreshments, and a Shred Truck to dispose of unwanted paper, will be on hand.
SATURDAY, JUNE 18 9AM to 12:30PM – KIDS FAIR at Plainfield Central High School. The Kids Fair will involve a Reptile Show, a Touch-a-Truck Exhibit with over 25 exciting vehicles for the kids to see, touch and sit in, and a LIFESTAR helicopter will be at the Fair from 9:30am-11:30am. Over 40 area vendors will be on hand. Demonstrations will include dances by DanceQuest of Plainfield (9:30am), and the YMCA Dance Ensemble (10:00am), the Reptile Show (10:30am), Martial Arts of America (Noon), and a drawing for give aways (12:30pm).
SATURDAY, JUNE 25 9AM to 12:30PM – JOBS FAIR. I will be having a Jobs Fair at Minooka Central High School from 9:30am-12:30pm. Many local employers will attend, and there will be workshops on resumes, interviewing, and mastering your job search.
Hope to see you this Summer!