* SJ-R editorial…
We fear not having a budget has become the norm, and because the vast majority of people haven’t been personally touched by the lack of one, they feel no need to urge action.
That is unacceptable.
We need outrage. We need phone calls made and letters written and protests organized. And we need it from all corners of the state, and from people not directly affected by the budget woes. We see it from the social service agencies, small businesses and higher education institutions that rely on state funding. They are pleading for a resolution, because they don’t want to go back to the year of no budget (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016) and all the horrors that included, such as layoffs, serving fewer clients, or in some extreme cases, shutting down. We need it from everyone now.
It’s not too late for either Rauner or Madigan to do the right thing. Absent that, the rank-and-file legislators need to raise hell and get more involved. They need to be willing to sacrifice the monetary security Madigan and Rauner provide during campaigns to those they consider allies in favor of the greater good. They need to demand to be part of the budget process. It should no longer be solely hammered out by the leaders in private conversations with the governor. Not when we’re again on the edge of not having a fiscal blueprint for a significant amount of time. This is the public’s business, and it’s time it is done in the light.
* Sauk Valley Media editorial…
When the election for House speaker takes place, minority Republicans should not do the same thing they’ve done for years – fruitlessly vote for their party caucus leader for speaker.
Instead, after some behind-the-scenes negotiations, they should announce the following:
“We are prepared to vote en masse for a compromise Democratic candidate for House speaker.”
That’s right, 51 Republicans voting for a DEMOCRATIC candidate who is not named Madigan.
Republicans could continue:
“We, in fact, will nominate such a person. We will then supply 51 votes, out of the minimum 60 that are required for election. That’s 85 percent of the total.”
Democrats disaffected by Madigan’s leadership would thus have an opportunity and a choice to bravely chart a new course.
It would take a coalition of only 9 Democrats to join 51 Republican colleagues to unseat Madigan as House speaker.
Nine Democrats who want Illinois to have fresh leadership.
Is this outside the box? Definitely.
Unorthodox? Of course.
But it could happen.