A mailing that makes some outlandish accusations is landing in mailboxes across Illinois. If you haven’t received this piece of political propaganda, don’t worry- you will. The mailing takes aim at legislators who voted last month to bring the State’s budget that funds Illinois services through June 30 into balance; finally. The political mailing is meant to stir an emotional response through the use of irresponsible and highly inflammatory rhetoric. The group that funded the mailer represents the road builders’ union in Illinois.
To better understand the purpose for the General Assembly’s emergency budget votes last month, Illinoisans need to look back at the budget that was approved for this current fiscal year. Last May, House and Senate Democrats sent Governor Quinn a budget they knew was out of balance by $1.6 billion. I did not vote for that sham of a budget and neither did any House or Senate Republicans. But the controlling Party sent the disingenuous budget to Quinn and he signed it, knowing it was unbalanced … hoping they would “correct it” after the election via an income tax increase if everything went according to plan. But it didn’t. Governor Rauner unseated Quinn.
Prior to the legislature taking corrective action last month, funding for vital State programs was within days of running out. Funding for prison guard and court reporter salaries, money earmarked for a childcare program that allowed our most disadvantaged citizens to work outside the home, and funding for programs that assist the mentally ill were almost depleted. To prevent the shuttering of these and other programs and budget areas, a bipartisan coalition of legislators took bold steps to ensure no disruption of services would occur.
With regard to the road issue, please know that I am 100% committed to rebuilding Illinois roads, and support efforts to ensure that a steady stream of revenue is available each year to keep up with road and bridge projects. My voting record on funding for road and bridge projects statewide speaks for itself. What bothers me most is the timing of this ill-advised mailing. In addition to being grossly inaccurate, it is unhelpful as legislators work to fix the decades-long neglect of our State’s finances. Here’s what the mailing doesn't tell you:
- Today the Road Fund is sitting on a balance of over $1 billion.
- The emergency budget votes in March will not affect next year’s annual allocation for road construction or put IDOT operations in jeopardy.
As always, I am happy to answer any questions. Call me at 630/737-0504 or email me at email@example.com.