1/18/17 - Illinois Budget - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

1/18/17 - Illinois Budget

By Scott Thomas
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager

Illinois' budget is a mess. If I ran this TV station the way elected officials are running the state I’d be fired. At work and at home I have to balance MY budget, pay MY bills, and meet MY obligations. And so do you. So why do Illinois lawmakers think they don't have to?

The Illinois Comptroller’s office has a running total showing Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog, and it is SHOCKING. Illinois is now more than $11 billion dollars behind in paying its bills. $11 billion! And by law the state has to pay an additional 9 to 12 percent interest on all of that. Unbelievable!! Those unpaid bills hurt state employees, businesses that provide goods and services to the state, and agencies that serve those individuals and families most at need.

If you didn't pay your bills, you’d find yourself in front of a judge. But in spite of breaking the law, Governor Bruce Rauner, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and dozens of lawmakers are still going to work and not doing their jobs, leaving the citizens of Illinois $11 billion in debt and growing. Tired of this nonsense, the people of Illinois voted for change in November. In our area, long-time democratic representative Brandon Phelps and Republican Rep. Terri Bryant were re-elected, while Republican newcomers Rep. Dave Severin, and Senators Dale Fowler and Paul Schimpf will head to Springfield for the first time. 

Like you, I am hopeful we will finally see some change. Just this week, Illinois Senate leaders announced they hope to move swiftly on their pledge to advance a state budget compromise by month's end. Let's hope this is real progress, and not just talk You were ELECTED to fix this state. You campaigned for the privilege of serving the people. So serve them. And believe me, we will be holding you accountable.

I’m Scott Thomas, and that’s our ViewPoint.

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