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Thursday, June 8, 2017 12:14 am

Letters to the Editor 6/8/17

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DIVERSE AND PROUD
I am an avid reader of your paper and generally look forward to your weekly editions. I was happy to see that you covered pride and put it on the cover of your May 18 edition (“The gayest day,” by Scott Faingold). However, I was disappointed to see all white people on the cover. The LGBTQ population is more than just white people, and representation matters. Can we get some much needed diversity, please?

Michelle Cruz Hine
Springfield



FIND NEW SOURCES
As a longtime reader of Illinois Times, I’ve become increasingly distressed by the inability of your reporters and commentators to find less biased sources when covering the Illinois financial crisis and its effects and possible solutions. You’re hardly the only media outlet with this problem, as the State Journal-Register may be even worse. Surely your intrepid investigative staff could find sources beyond Kent Redfield (teachers union retiree), Ralph Martire (longtime AFSCME contractor, among other things), and the University
of Illinois Institute of Public Affairs (all government union employees).

Even the oft-quoted Better Government Association falls into this category. I attended one of their informational seminars recently at the Sangamo Club on the budget crisis and they allowed the entire presentation to be dominated by several loud-mouthed AFSCME activists. I’m sure all these folks are fine people and relatively knowledgeable, but their commentary is hopelessly compromised by public sector union membership and the outsized (to put it mildly) benefit packages they enjoy, such as 3 percent compounded yearly retirement pay increases, cheap or free retiree health insurance and multiple early-out programs that have most of them making more in retirement by normal retirement age than they made working. They all profess amazement that Gov. Bruce Rauner is so obstinate and they insist that the budget and financials be separate from his reform agenda. Having been a lobbyist for nearly 40 years, I know this is utter nonsense. The legislature considers whatever their respective Rules Committees (Madigan and Cullerton) want to consider.

Nearly all your sources come from a tiny and unrepresentative slice of Illinois’ population. Public sector unions. These folks got nearly 20 percent retirement pay increases the past five years while private sector Social Security beneficiaries got about .3 percent. I, for one, would like to hear some budget and tax increase commentary from the majority of Illinois’ workers who aren’t on the public sector union gravy train. At a minimum, your sources should disclose where they are on the pay in/take out tax revenue continuum.

David Sykuta
Springfield

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