Push for reform commendable

May 22, 2009

The Chicago Tribune deserves praise for its reform-minded editorials and its urging of citizens to contact their legislators in Springfield to demand reform.   The Tribune outlined its own six step agenda to clean up state government in a May 7th editorial:  Every D and R, a vote.

Kudos also to the Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald for their editorials urging citizens to call and e-mail their legislators in Springfield to demand reform.

But why only now the interest in reform?   Economic reform has been urgently needed for years.  Under Democrat Speaker Mike Madigan’sleadership the House has passed six unbalanced budgets.  As a result Illinois has a $12 billion budget hole with $82 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.  Each man, woman, and child in Illinois is indebeted to the tune of $17,000!

Speaker Madigan has yet to address the budget problem.   Madigan’s stab at reform is his push for legislation that would oust as many as 3,000 state workers appointed by scandal tarnished ex-Governors Ryan and Blagoevich. 

The Illinois Policy Institute (illinoispolicyinstitute.org) has an Economic Reform Agenda that would bring prosperity back to our state.  Franco Coladipietro(R-Bloomingdale), along with his House Republican colleagues, are urging Speaker Madigan to schedule votes on the Institute’s four proposals, which are:


  • 3/5 Supermajority For Tax/Fee Increases.
  • Sunshine Act as a tool to remove wasteful, fradulent spending.
  • PAYGO.
  • Stimuus Watch Act to prevent misuse of stimulus money.

Surely Speaker Madigan is interested in injecting transparency and accountability into the state budget before the General Assembly heads for the door on May 31st.

It is even possible to change the mentality of sleaze and corruption in Springfield in a state where one party rules, although the Republican Party has had its share of scandal and sleaze?   

Although threats made to vote legislators out of office could prove effective, might Chicagoland newspapers go a step further by advocating reform of House and Senate rules that give the Speaker and President ultimate power to decide whether a bill gets to be heard on the floor? 



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