Oct 31, 2016

A New Path for Southern Illinois: Government Reform

Our state government is fundamentally broken. Corruption, patronage, and cronyism are so deeply ingrained into the fabric of our ruling class, only real reform will solve this mess. While politicians, lobbyists, and special interest groups wine and dine on the taxpayer dime in Springfield, the rest of us need a state government we can trust. Career politicians are passing unbalanced budgets, higher taxes and debt busting pension holidays – the rest of us suffer the consequences.

Politicians looking for power go to Springfield, stay in office for 10, 20, 30 years and lose sight of who they are really there to serve. Career politicians are consumed with winning the next election, instead of making the tough but necessary decisions to turn this state around. And where has that gotten us? Illinois is the worst run state in America with people and businesses fleeing across our borders. When my opponent says we need to take certain actions to fix our problems, I have to ask: what has he been doing for the last 13 years he was in office?

We, the taxpayers of Illinois, must make our leaders accountable. Here is my plan to do it:

NEW PATH

Term Limits

Career politicians have gotten us into this mess. The first step in fundamental government reform is to eliminate career politicians. We need term limits on all legislators and the six constitutional offices, including the Governor. New ideas, and fresh perspectives will be promoted over the ability to make politics a career. Our founders envisioned a citizen led government where community leaders were elected for a few years, made the right decisions for our future and then went back to the real world. I agree with them.

Redistricting Reform

Currently, career politicians sit behind closed doors and redraw our legislative maps every ten years. These district lines are drawn to protect incumbents and in many cases look like spaghetti noodles. In the November 2016 election, 60% of all legislative races will be uncontested. Voters deserve to have choices. Districts that are diverse and geographically reasonable will provide opportunity for choices. The process for legislative map making should be done by an independent and non-partisan commission.

No Budget, No Pay

I’m a small business owner. If one of my employees doesn’t do their job, they won’t get paid. That’s a simple concept that those of us outside of politics can agree with. The Illinois constitution requires that the General Assembly pass a balanced budget every year by May 31st. That mandate is the terms of their employment by us. Career politicians in Springfield have not passed a full year, balanced budget since 2002. It’s time we say enough is enough and hold them accountable by hitting them in the wallet. If there’s no budget – no legislator should get paid.