THE FAMILY BUSINESS

By State Rep. Jeanne Ives – 

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Gov. Pat Quinn, alleging the veto power he used earlier this month to suspend lawmakers’ pay was unconstitutional, and called him mean names, like ‘Blagojevich’. To which, Quinn whimpered back, “This is just plain wrong.”

This dram-edy is the legislative equivalent of an imploding family business. Complete with power plays and public meltdowns, the family business that is the Illinois Democrat party is coming undone.

While our General Assembly leaders play ‘Family Feud,’ on Monday, a lawsuit was filed against the state regarding the closure of The Murray Developmental Center, a complex that meets the of needs of individuals faced with severe developmental disabilities; just like Detroit, municipal pensions are beginning to paralyze the City of Chicago; our Mass Transit system has been revealed as an “employment agency for politicians;” with the expansion of Medicaid, the number of recipients has potential to grow from today’s 2.8 million to 3.3 million; and, our state continues to struggle with 9.3 % unemployment. While, Governor Quinn is setting a bad precedent, this response is a distraction from the real problems facing Illinois families.

One or two family counseling sessions will not be enough. The General Assembly, needs intensive therapy. The solutions to all of our problems are not out of our reach. However, the petty feuding needs to stop and strong legislation that will make Illinois competitive needs to be passed. As we feud, our neighbors peek over the fence, ready to make that 911 call. Indiana, whose economy is half the size of ours and far less diversified, grew at nearly double the rate in 2012. Despite our economy, we still have the fifth largest GDP in the nation, a growing energy sector and the ability based on our location to once again attract business.

In the end, will the demise of this family business come down to lawyers carving up the scraps left on the table?

Are we really going to have to wait for the doors to be chained and the windows to be boarded on this failing patriarchal operation before we make policy decisions that will grow our state’s economy, create opportunity and allow us to truly provide for those most in need in Illinois?

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