As Governor Rauner delivered his State of the State address, there remains more than $11 billion in bills that the state owes to vendors and service providers. There are 1 million people who have lost services, including mental health and substance-abuse treatment, HIV prevention services, and programming for victims of domestic violence. And, our budget deficit will remain $5.3 billion if the Governor continues his stubborn and partisan aversion to compromise. What we heard was nothing more than a campaign speech from a Governor who still hasn’t figured out how to lead. We heard no new ideas, and despite his claims, we have seen no effective attempt to work across the aisle to find solutions. In fact, we have seen our Governor actively work to divide us and enhance the partisan rancor that is preventing any real progress. The people of Illinois are sick and tired of waiting for real leadership.
Governor Rauner: You said you’re frustrated. Well, we are too. In these past 18 months, you have consistently treated the black, brown, poor, and working class people of Illinois as acceptable collateral damage. You had an opportunity to be a bipartisan leader, but you have put ideology and your own interests first, while failing to comprehend that your inaction is contributing to a vicious cycle of poverty, violence, and community instability in the places you pretend to be an advocate for – across all Illinois. In order to make real progress, we need leadership that can harness our collective focus on a balanced budget, meaningful education funding reform to fix our schools, and a jobs plan that works for all of us.