Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is running out of money and told lawmakers this week that the lights might go out in the state capitol if he doesn’t get money soon to pay the power bill.
So is that really a problem?
You have to wonder why we need lights on in a building where nothing is happening and where most of the residents are home on a month-long break.
White’s voice was the latest to tell lawmakers what their inaction will soon beget: Power bills past due, garbage service threatening to quit, postage running out, armored car service leaving bags of cash to find their own way to the bank.
We are 93 days into the budget impasse, with court orders forcing the money to flow out at too high a rate and the unpaid bills on track to go from the current $4.4 billion to $8.5 billion by year’s end.
If the statehouse Democratic leadership is simply playing chicken with the Republican reformer we elected as governor, then they apparently are losing. This week Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax blog reported that a recent poll showed 71 percent saw Rauner as the reformer and the career politicians as obstructing his efforts.
Note to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton: You are losing the hearts and minds.
Hope is the price of getting the tax increase that the state’s Democratic lawmakers want. They need to agree to reforms that give Illinois hope of again being competitive at creating jobs and attracting businesses, not in just feeding off carrion pieces as we die off.
The evidence that Rauner’s right became painfully clear again this week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Illinois through August of this year was still losing manufacturing jobs, adding new jobs at a slower rate and had the highest unemployment of the nine states in the Great Lakes region.
Lawmakers need to get back to Springfield, get down to fixing business and pass the budget before we all realize they are unnecessary impediments who need to be replaced by responsible adults who remember to pay the light bills.