Edit: Infighting in Springfield leaves residents bearing the brunt of atrocity

Staff Editorial

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The state is on its fourth governor in nearly 20 years, 50 percent of whom have gone to jail – George Ryan and Rod “Blago” Blagojevich.

Truth be told, we would be better off with one of them leading the state.

State schools have seen no state funding in nearly eight months; social service organizations have not seen funding in nearly eight months.

And that’s just the tip of the cornstalk.

At least when Blago was trying to profit off then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s “(expletive) golden” vacated senate seat, the state was nowhere in the fiscal calamity that it is now.

Let’s travel back in time to Rauner’s first State of the State Address.

“Last November, voters made it clear they want bipartisan government,” Rauner said. “They want a government where people come together to solve problems and get things done.”

That sounds nice.

But where is it?

He goes on to say, “All of us were elected to do a job; to deliver real results; to serve the people of Illinois to the best of our ability.”

Are you scratching your head?

Because we are.

Governor Rauner, your “best” isn’t cutting it, and we’re certain laid-off state employees will echo that sentiment.

During his second State of the State Address this past Wednesday, he said we are “committed to eliminating wasteful bureaucracy” in regards to higher education.

So why is there a new $100,000 a-year chief-of-staff for your wife?

And why did you not speak more to the slow, agonizing death of MAP Grants and higher education in this state?

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, organizations from the statewide Lutheran Social Services to the Chicago-based Children’s Home + Aid have had to find ways to deal with the budget crisis. Lutheran Social Services is shuttering 30 of their programs, ranging from homeless shelters to mental help counseling as the state owes the program $6 million.

These cuts affect 4,700 people the programs were serving as well as 750 employees – roughly 43 percent of their staff.

School districts as well as higher education institutions are also victims of the pettiness and fiscal irresponsibility in Springfield.

Eastern President David Glassman emailed staff on Monday stating that, should the state not pass a budget, layoffs and furloughs would hit the university come March.

“Our state government is literally starving its public universities,” he said.

The situation is just as bleak at Western, where students demonstrated at the school’s Board of Trustees meeting as the board authorized layoffs, according to The Western Courier.

It’s most dire at Chicago State University, where officials have projected the school will run out of money by March 1, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This government deadlock is insane.

Article VIII, Section 2, of the Illinois Constitution states that the governor, “shall prepare and submit to the General Assembly, at a time prescribed by law, a State budget for the ensuing fiscal year.”

This budget sets forth appropriation for, among other things, every state college and university.

And yet this state has been operating without a budget for nearly eight months, with absolutely no relief in sight.

The state government is not following the constitution by funding state higher education.

The deranged actions of this seditious government are hurting it’s residents.

No matter what, the people of Illinois need to petition their representatives in Springfield as well as the governor and tell them that Illinois can’t survive in this cash-strapped political climate.

Call, email or send a letter.

Or better yet, go to the Illinois Statehouse and protest.

People need to demand change.

Rauner ended his first State of the State Address with, “Together, we will get great things done for the people of Illinois.”

Tell us then, oh rich, mighty governor, why is there a mass exodus of people leaving this godforsaken state?

During his second State of the State Address he said, “We must break from the politics of the past and do what is right for the long-term future of our state.”

With bated breath the remaining population waits for your answer.

 

The daily editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Daily Eastern News.