Democratic lawmakers, lobbyists have no interest in helping state taxpayers, Ives contends
Democratic legislators were not acting for the good of Illinois when they orchestrated the most recent failure to reach a balanced budget, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said on a Chicago radio show recently.
"I think that everybody should understand that everything that goes down there in Springfield is really done by design," Ives said on "Illinois Rising." "It's done for political purposes. Because they [Democrat lawmakers] are not serious about solving any of our problems."
One of Illinois' most serious problems is that the state is essentially bankrupt, but the Democrat majority has acted irresponsibly to make things worse, Ives said.
"We deserve junk bond status because that's where we are," she said. "At the same time that we're bankrupt, they have pushed through a massive bailout for Chicago Public Schools in school funding reform that actually is not reform at all."
"Illinois Rising" is co-hosted by Dan Proft, a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
The Illinois Constitution requires a balanced budget to be in place at the beginning of every fiscal year, but that has not happened in two years. The General Assembly ended its spring legislative session on May 31 without a budget and is now in special session, which can last until fiscal year 2018 begins on July 1.
On June 6, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner also accused Democrats of being more interested in re-election than the state's economy.
"You see where they're going; you see what this is about?" Rauner said. "They are damaging communities like Hegewisch. They are damaging human services for political gain."
Ives took aim at public sector lobbyists whom she said are busy in Springfield trying to get more money for their special interests.
"The results don't matter; accountability doesn't matter," she said. "And there's no bigger example of this than the big government education folks. The superintendents from around the state are down there asking the state for more dollars to bail out Chicago Public Schools -- as long as they receive exactly what they got before, whether or not they deserve it, whether or not they lost enrollment, lost the property count, changes in property wealth, it doesn't matter. Everybody just wants what they had before."
As a group, state education lobbyists are the most unprincipled in Springfield, Ives charged, adding that taxpayers in her district are tired of it all.
"We don't want to pay in perpetuity for Chicago Public Schools, teacher pensions and health care," she said. "But that's the plan that they've hatched in the wake of a massive budget deficit. They want to add $3.5 billion to bail out Chicago."