* Rare is the day when the Chicago Tribune editorial page blasts Republican state legislators on the budget, but today is that day…
Patricia Bellock, Michael Frerichs, Raymond Poe, you are part of the problem.
Suzi Schmidt, Dave Syverson,you are not far behind.
They are all members of the Illinois House or Senate. They sit on the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. Last week, they reviewed Gov.Pat Quinn’splan to close government facilities around the state.
Illinois has no money. It has to stop spending wherever it can. The governor has made some tough choices.
The commission voted on closing six major facilities the governor wants to close. The commission went 0 for 6.
House Republicans Bellock and Poe and Senate Democrat Frerichs didn’t vote to close one major facility.
Senate Republicans Schmidt and Syverson voted to close only one.
Look, there are plenty of really good reasons not to close some of those facilities. I even agree with some of them, disagree with others. There are decent arguments against closing all of them. For instance, this is from a Treasurer Dan Rutherford op-ed in the very same Tribune…
I would prefer a long-range strategic plan before the state closes any of its mental health or correctional facilities
Legislating ain’t always easy, especially in times like these. But there are folks who talk a good game about cutting the budget and then won’t follow through.
* The Trib’s closer…
It’s time for Republicans to get in the game. You want more cuts in Medicaid than the governor has proposed? Put ‘em on the table. You want to spare local schools from pension costs — where’s your better idea? You don’t want to close a costly prison? Then name another state operation you will shut down tomorrow.
Hard to argue with that.
* Other stuff…
* DNR hopes to create ’sustainable’ funding support for outdoors programs
* Editorial: Illinois Senate finally gives up scholarships
* Marin: Oh, the pain of giving up a perk
* Editorial: At last, a victory for common sense