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Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:19 am

Letters to the Editor 03/17/16


I have heard the news reports – the ones that say the governor is blaming the legislature for the budget impasse – the ones that say the legislature is blaming the governor for the budget impasse. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come to quit pointing fingers and go to work for the people of the state of Illinois.

Waiting around to get certain business agreements before agreeing to work on helping to achieve a budget is only succeeding in plunging our state further in debt, causing our state’s credit rating to drop further and multiplying, rather than decreasing, our financial woes. It is as if our house is burning and we are refusing to call the fire department unless they paint the fire engine a color we like better than red. Let’s remember that the people of Illinois are suffering the consequences of your inaction. Let’s remember that the people of Illinois are the ones you promised to serve when you were elected to your posts.

Refusing to focus on the real issues facing this state and spending time deciding on important issues like choosing the state pie is an enormous waste of time and intellect. Both time and intellect are required to solve our problems and to make Illinois a functioning state once again. How can the citizens of this state take seriously any of our elected officials if said officials are refusing to stay in session round the clock until solutions come about?

The woes of this state are due to a long history of mismanagement, criminal behavior, misuse of designated funds, lack of recognition or responsibility, refusal to do the job itself, and a general lack of compassion for the people of Illinois. You may point fingers, refuse to cooperate, shun your duties and continue on the path you are currently on. What will be the result of that? The problems that are bringing this state and its people to ruin will increase.

Our institutions of higher learning are being dismantled, students needing financial aid are dropping out of school, organizations which have helped serve our citizenry are being sacrificed, homes and families are being destroyed, and our state is shrinking because so many are making the decision to move elsewhere to avoid the calamity that is growing here. Why would any of you let this happen? There seems to be only one answer – you simply don’t care. Before you start denying this charge, you’d better look at your recent track record. Your actions (or should I say, your inaction?) say, “I’m doing fine ... you are on your own.”

So, to you in the legislature and in the governor’s office, I say wake up! Get off your complacent backsides and get to work. I can’t see any reason for you to collect your salaries if you aren’t at least trying to earn them. I know our governor does not take his salary, but that doesn’t let him off the hook when it comes to putting his priorities straight. There are some valid points to all of your arguments, but before you get to most of those issues please get to work for the people of Illinois – the ones who put you in office. Take care of the sick, the retired, the mentally ill, the homeless and the elderly. Help people get back to work. Help students trying to get a good education. Raise the minimum wage to make it possible for fewer people to need help in the first place. There is much work to be done. It is well past time to do that work.

If you choose to continue down the path you are currently walking, you will be the only state government in the history of this nation to have totally destroyed your own state. Illinois will no longer exist. It will be a vast wasteland, its population living in poverty or having moved elsewhere. Why would you let this happen?

I would like to be able to say, with a smile on my face, that I am a citizen of Illinois. I would like to say that with pride and a sense of loyalty. I cannot say that today.

Rita Pearce


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