This week Id like to pose a question to you, and if you have an opinion on the matter, then I would love for you to send me your response. By the way, now would be a good time for me to mention that we have updated our contact information. You can now send communications directly to my office by visiting www.ilhousegop.org/contactstewart.”
Without any further ado heres the question Ill pose to you this week: which is more important to you? Taxpayer funded abortions or a balanced budget? Now dont think too hard because it really isnt a trick question. And yes, it really is a this or that question.
Why? Because instead of continuing to work toward an agreement that could lead toward fiscal certainty and responsibility, House leadership has opted instead to push a bill that reaffirms taxpayer funded abortions. Though there is absolutely no practical reason to bring HB 40 to a vote, some members on the other side of the aisle are relishing an opportunity to put Governor Rauner in a tough spot.
Thankfully, Governor Rauner has not caved to this shameless political ploy. He announced that if both chambers pass this sideshow of a bill, he will put an abrupt end to the political theater by vetoing HB 40. To that I say, Bravo, Governor Rauner, bravo! Do you support the Governors decision?
Im not ashamed to say that I am pro-life, and Im also not ashamed to say that I am anti-political theater. In fact, Ill go as far as to say this: how about instead of this nonsensical bill that does nothing to help working families, we work on passage of HB 3096 (the Lincoln Douglas Tax Credit) a bill that would create jobs for Freeport and other cities across the state. Or perhaps we could pick up where we left off and continue negotiating on a budget compromise.
But instead of passing a balanced budget, we find ourselves grappling with an issue that came to the forefront simply because House leadership calculated that it would hurt the Governors standing with either pro-life advocates or pro-abortion advocates. Yes indeed, putting the Governor in a political bind is far more important than working to pass a balanced budget.
Ive said before that the legislature loves nothing more than to play kick the can. Im beginning to think that I should amend my previous statement and add another game that has been very popular in Springfield lately pin the tail on the Governor. I mean, why focus on the issues that matter when we have a prime opportunity to stick it to the Governor, right?
Well Im fed up with the games. We need to immediately resume working on a balanced budget. No more stopgap spending plans that dont even come close to fully funding social services. No more finger pointing. And especially no more political theater just for the sake of sticking it to the Governor. From your calls and e-mails I know that the vast majority of you want us to pass a balanced budget, and thats exactly what I will continue to work toward.
But until such a time as House leadership decides that our state is more important than partisan politics, Ill continue doing whatever I can to help the district. Thats why this week I invited Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti to Freeport to meet with our newly elected Mayor. And thats why last week I spoke with the Governor about the needs of some of our local employers. Budget or no budget, I will fight for the best interests of the 89th District. You have my word on that.
And as for the budget, I remain optimistic that we will eventually set aside our differences and work together on a balanced and long term solution. Am I foolish for remaining optimistic? Perhaps. But as Winston Churchill said, I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.
As always, you can reach me or Sally at 815-232-0774, or visit my website at www.repbrianstewart.com and use the contact form to send me an e-mail.