Fall Arrives and Still No Budget

Fall officially arrived this past week and farmers have begun harvesting the fields.  As I made my way to Springfield for another day of session, I began to think about all our region has to offer during this time of the year.

Take some time to ask your neighbor or get online to find a new festival or parade you have not attended in the area.  There are so many to name I would hate to leave anyone out.  I would like to note that it’s important that we take time to interact with our community and surrounding areas, which many do.  These events and the people that attend, is what makes living in Northwest Illinois the greatest!

Going back to session in Springfield this past Thursday, I have nothing new to report in regards to the budget impasse other than we still do not have one.  Instead of staying in Springfield and getting the job done that we were elected to do, we adjourned until October 20th.

Delaying to negotiate a solution or agreeing to a compromise is going to cost taxpayers more and more money.  We are far past the $4 billion gap that was originally stated during budget negotiations in May.  Some statistics show the gap has doubled up to $8 billion.  A tax increase by itself cannot fix that big of a gap.

We have to reform current practices to help save taxpayer money for the future.  Letting the courts make decisions for elected officials is absolutely outrageous and is not helping solve this budget disaster.  We need a balanced budget, structural reforms and to make sure we take care of the people who cannot speak for themselves.

I have said on multiple occasions, but I will say it again, we are in a fight for the future of Illinois.  I will not falter in taking our message of reform from the citizens of Northwest Illinois to leaders in Springfield.

I put faith in the words of former President Ronald Reagan, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.  From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people.  Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.” Stand strong, be brave and know that we are all in this together for the future of Illinois.

Another week of session has come and gone without any action taken to fix the budget crisis. Legislators were dismissed from Springfield this past Wednesday and have been ordered to return on September 24th.  That gives leaders in Springfield the opportunity to negotiate for a balanced budget and end the impasse within the next three-weeks.

Each day, week and month we continue to delay a budget deal the gap between revenue and spending grows larger.  Some estimates show that the gap is closer to $6 to $8 billion over the $32 billion dollar revenue estimate at this point.

How did we get here?  Leaders continue to refuse to come to the table and compromise.  All of the leaders should have the ability to listen to both sides and devise a compromise acceptable to both parties.  I have read Governor Rauner’s compromise proposals, but I have not heard from Speaker Madigan other than his usually weekly talking points.

When you hear the other side of the aisle say they don't want to talk about the “non-related budget issues”, they just want to talk about the budget, what they're really saying is they just want to raise taxes to increase government spending without making a single economic reform to increase jobs or a single government reform to save you money.  What they're really saying is let's just raise taxes, go home, and make hardworking taxpayers foot the entire bill.

We have to reign-in our spending and provide some reforms that will help drive business to create jobs and give the people who truly need our help the opportunity to receive it.  Raising taxes just to pay the bill doesn’t solve the problem.  Offering ideas and solutions and then compromising will solve the problem.

I hope everyone enjoys this Labor Day weekend and thank you to the hardworking families in the 89th District that continue make northwest Illinois great!  In closing, “No government is perfect.  One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected,” stated President Harry S. Truman.

The people of Illinois pointed out the defects and elected Governor Rauner.  While some might believe he is doing more harm than good, change is never easy.  My colleagues and I stand united in our support for a truly balanced budget that protects the interests of taxpayers, working families and seniors.