Editorials

Listening to WOE in Springfield

We’re beginning to think our Illinois House and Senate leaders were once Top 40 DJs: We keep hearing the same things over and over, and the only thing they do is cue the sound effects, or rather the sound bites.

Trot out the differently-abled small child and villify what “Rauner” is doing to our most vulnerable. March our state union employees with signs decrying how our elderly and feeble will go without care.

Well, you hip guys and gals of the state house, just how did we get here? In what universe did you learn it’s OK to “budget” for $4 billion in deficit spending? How can you ask state taxpayers for even more money when you failed to make fiscal progress with years of extra revenue from the temporary state income tax increase? How can you ask for more when you are showing few signs of changing your spending habits or improving the climate for revenue growth in the 2016 budget that starts Wednesday?

So far Rauner has made smart moves as he plays chess with Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Mike Madigan. He took the school spending out of the Democrats’ hands by passing that part of the upcoming budget. The AFSCME folks gave him an extra month before their contract negotiations factor into budget questions. He vetoed the Democrats’ budget fantasy.

Workers comp reform, pension reform, term limits, redistricting and cuts need to be exhausted before you ask taxpayers for more. Show us you can be public servants instead of public parasites.

We’d suggest lawmakers work with the man voters put in the governor’s mansion to bring “fiscal sanity” back to Illinois. They should do so before they find themselves off the air.

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