***Guest Column***

The 2016 primary election is one for the record books.  Across the 89th District, individual precincts, city wards, and entire counties reported record early voter turnout and record voter turnout for a primary election.  I’m excited and reinvigorated by the enthusiasm expressed for our local and national elections.  I hope the trend of increased voter participation and involvement in our local elections continues.

I’d also like to express my humble gratitude for receiving 17,396 votes across the 89th District.  By comparison, in the 2014 primary, I garnered 11,834 votes of your trust.  The political guys tell me by increasing your vote totals by 47% percent in 2 years means we’re doing something right. This is a “we,” because you and I talk weekly, and then I take your ideas to Springfield; and frankly, our common sense approach has been resonating down there.  Your ideas are a reflection of the weekly column, and I appreciate the communication; however, this week I want to set the ground for a debate – one to further occur on social media this week - about convictions and compromise.

***Guest Column***

“Spring ahead, Fall back.”  I’ve recalled which direction we change our clocks with that little mnemonic for years now.  Historically, the Germans were the first to implement Daylight Savings time with the hope of saving energy.  We, the US, followed suit in 1918, but often cited along with energy savings is that it was a part of wartime rationing.

It’s interesting to ponder the points of history that we highlight annually and how our memory of events changes over time.  For the younger audience, take some time this week to talk to a grandparent, friend, or neighbor that is over the age of 75.  With age, supposedly, comes wisdom.  With age, the experience of change and watching generations grow and change has to be fascinating.

I am mindful of how we retell stories each year trying to offer some insight or different perspective than previous versions of the story.  I find this especially fitting for the State of Illinois government.  We’re now over a week into our month long break from Session.  I know my colleagues and I would prefer to have an open debate, real discussion, and real votes; instead, I find myself writing the same story trying to offer a different insight into the quagmire of Illinois government.
Unwillingness to Compromise

This past week was the last scheduled day of session for an entire month.  Yes, I said an entire month. The next session day scheduled is for Monday, April 4th.  You are probably thinking with that long of a break we must have solved all the states problems; not exactly.  Did we solve the budget crisis No.  Did we vote on meaningful reforms to help alleviate some of the mounting financial pressures No.  Did we do anything that is going to make things better today than yesterday? No, we did none of the above.

As the Speaker of the House was ready to call for adjournment on Thursday evening, neighboring State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) stood to make a motion to not adjourn so that we could continue to work on the budget.
After deliberating behind the podium for around five minutes, the Speaker replied that Rep. Demmer’s motion was “out of order” and thus proceeded to rapidly adjourn, denying the opportunity to debate the motion.  The Speaker and staff behind the podium literally ran out the door.