To the Editor:
Despite Gov. Bruce Rauner still holding last year’s budget hostage to his radical, right-wing, proven-not-to-work Turnaround Agenda, he gave his second budget address last week.
Nowhere in his speech did the governor present a realistic plan forward. Nowhere did he talk about the struggling college students who may have to drop out because Rauner hasn’t provided them with their MAP grants, or the single moms whose child care was cut by the governor, or the seniors who have seen their in-home care disappear, or the social service agencies who provide critical services to Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.
Instead, he stuck to his same old talking points, demanding that we dismantle unions, lower the wages and workplace protections of our hardworking state employees, and place the entire burden on the backs of the working poor.
If the governor wants to talk about structural reforms, let’s talk about changing a system where two-thirds of corporations pay no income tax, and where 50 percent of the savings from the rollback of the income tax increase went to the richest one percent. Let’s talk about changing the education funding formula so that schools on the south side of Chicago have the same resources as schools in Rauner’s neighborhood in Winnetka. Let’s talk about making investments in infrastructure, education, public transportation, workforce development, and green technology – the areas that are proven to make Illinois competitive.
The governor insinuated that those of us who oppose his “Turnaround Agenda” do so because of special interests and campaign donors. The truth of the matter is that I oppose his agenda because there is no evidence that it will work. In fact, there is significant evidence that it will actually hurt our state. I oppose his agenda because it sells out working people and makes it easier for Rauner and his golf buddies to continue lining their pockets while the rest of us are scraping for crumbs.
I will continue fighting for a fair budget in Springfield, but I can’t do it alone.
I am asking you – whether you are a parent of a student in CPS, a senior who relies on in-home care, a college student without a MAP grant, a working mom who depends on a little help with your child care, or simply someone concerned about the direction of our state – to please get involved. The governor must hear from everyday folks. You can call his office at 312-814-2121 and tell him to put aside his reckless political agenda, and support a budget that works for everyone, not just those at the very top.
Together, we must demand a stronger, brighter, and more secure future for everyone.