Friday, January 29, 2016 || By Al Popowits
A recent opinion article in Wednesday Journal was contributed by State Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s opponent in the 7th District’s March democratic primary. Voters can only sympathize with the gentleman’s litany of woes concerning Illinois’ dire financial situation which is responsible for many other problems such as underfunded public pensions, a host of social justice inequities, and the lack of economic development.
However, assembling a list of commonly known problems, and then proposing theoretical solutions is no great feat. It is also disingenuous to believe that a freshman representative could induce the state legislature to seriously consider anything he proposes. I know from speaking with state representatives and senators that it takes years to learn legislative procedures, and more importantly to make the contacts necessary to be effective. Essentially by electing Representative Welch’s opponent we would be starting again from page one; at least Welch has had two terms under his belt.
I also wish that the aspiring legislator would refrain from making broad and untrue generalizations. For example, It is not true that Illinois’ property and income taxes “…make living here more costly than most other places in the United States”. Those of us who have lived in cities on either coast know better. The unpleasant truth is that there are three primary decision makers in our state, i.e., Governor Rauner, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, and Senate President John Cullerton. No solutions to Illinois’ financial morass will be forth coming until these majordomos compromise their differences. VFP
Al Popowits, a former educator, is a resident of River Forest, where he was named that town’s Villager of the Year by Wednesday Journal in 2013.