If you’ve followed the ongoing budget crisis in Springfield over the last year or so, you’ve probably seen #DoYourJob affixed to countless social media posts, stories, and comments*. #DoYourJob has been a rallying cry for Democrats, service providers, students, teachers, and concerned citizens across Illinois who are calling on Governor Rauner to, well, do his job.
Our state has gone almost 700 days without a real budget and there isn’t a single Illinois family who has not been impacted in one way or another by this impasse. Despite numerous attempts by the Senate Democrats to build a bipartisan budget agreement, no such deal has been reached because each time it seemed within reach the Governor interfered at the last minute to block a deal from happening. Rauner has kept Republican votes off of compromised, bipartisan budget and reform legislation and has leveraged his millions of campaign dollars to intimidate those who think about going against his marching orders. He consistently chooses politics over helping the most vulnerable citizens despite his claims that he is workin’ on fixin’ Illinois. Governor, #DoYourJob.
This has been and continues to be the sad reality of Illinois government under the Rauner Administration.
On Tuesday, May 23, Democrats in the Illinois Senate took it upon themselves to stop playing Rauner’s negotiating games and take action. Without the support of a single Republican, the Senate Democrats passed a balanced budget. A balanced budget that funds schools preschool through college. A budget that restores funding for the social and human service providers that have been so badly decimated by the impasse. A budget that funds domestic violence shelters, addiction treatment, mental health facilities, autism support, senior services, youth outreach programs, and more. A budget that addressed the hard reality of needing to raise revenue while also making difficult cuts and reforms to help Illinois government better live within it’s budgetary means.
We as Democrats should be proud of the efforts taken by the Senate, including our own Senator Andy Manar. Despite having to take some very difficult, unpopular, and politically damaging votes to pass this balanced budget, the Democrats did their job. They prioritized the needs of the people over the very politics that has been holding Illinois back. The Senate Democrats also approved, without Republican support, Senator Manar’s education funding reform bill (SB1) to make school funding more equitable and fair for all children while not reducing funding to any school.
There is too much at stake for Illinois’ budget stalemate and mounting debt to continue down the path it’s on. The Senate Democrats did their job, now we must push harder than ever for Governor Rauner to do his.
Precinct Committeeman, Carlinville 2
*A quick beginners lesson on hashtag use in social media – A word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it. So whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it is immediately indexed by the social network and searchable by other users – Source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/how-to-use-hashtags/