Letters to the Editor

Why are Illinois lawmakers getting paid for not doing their jobs?

I have to wonder whether we’re about to find out if it’s even possible for a state to declare bankruptcy and what the consequences would be. Our employees met in special session for a last-minute effort at passing a budget and adjourned without accomplishing anything.

They do, however, have some significant accomplishments on their records: higher taxes, plummeting bond ratings, massive unpaid bills, skyrocketing state pension liabilities, and being the first state to be abandoned by Lotto and PowerBall thus losing that source of income too.

As far as I can tell, Illinois meets all of the technical requirements of bankruptcy. We already know what happens to bankrupt cities; their finances are taken over by appointed boards. What happens to bankrupt states? What happens to their bonds, pensions (and the people who rely on them), unpaid bills (and unpaid businesses), schools, roads, etc.? I really, really don’t want to know!

I’d like to lock every one of my “employees” in a room and not let them out until they pass a budget and it’s signed by the governor. Why do they still get paychecks if they can’t or won’t produce actual results? Why do we, the voters, get to pay for their “my way or the highway” behaviors? I’ll be contacting my “employees” and expressing my total dissatisfaction with their absolute inability to govern responsibly. I strongly encourage every Illinois voter to do the same – quickly – before we face the reality of being the first state in history to declare bankruptcy!

J.L. Hickman, Fairview Heights