By State Rep. Jeanne Ives –
Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Freedom and Liberty. Mere words cannot depict the enormity of their sacrifice or the anguish of the loved ones they left behind. Memorial Day is also a day to remember and pray for our troops who currently stand in harm’s way. And to pray for their families and loved one as they endure the hardship and uncertainty of deployment.
To me, Memorial Day is more than just marching bands and political speeches. It is a day that recognizes how enormously indebted we are to those who have laid down their lives to ensure our that we could live in a country in which we are able to enjoy the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, the right to vote for our elected leaders, and the many other liberties with which we are blessed. Today, I should be in my district at one of the many ceremonies held in honor of our fallen heroes. My responsibilities as State Representative dictate instead that I must be present when the House is in session today.
As state legislators, each of us was sent to the General Assembly by people who have chosen to remain in Illinois because they believed we had the ideas and principles to grow a state in which they and their families could thrive. With five days left in session, major issues such as pension reform, a balanced budget, and protection of our 2nd Amendment rights, remain unresolved due to the inexplicably disorganized manner in which House Sessions are run. The last few weeks have been marked by inefficiency, political games, or bending rules to make verification votes turn out in the speaker’s favor. Common sense bills are trapped in Rules Committee, budget working groups are cancelled, and we spend time passing medical marijuana and comprehensive sex education for 6th graders.