Democrats' rejection of Madigan budget fails to impress Amrozowicz
Mike Amrozowicz, the Republican candidate for the District 31 State Senate seat held by Democrat Melinda Bush, is not surprised at the lingering budget impasse and believes the public bickering among Democrats -- some of whom voted against or declined to vote for House Speaker Mike Madigan’s recently proposed budget -- is just an act to garner political points.
“It’s absolutely insane,” Amrozowicz told the Lake County Gazette. “I think it is even worse than last year. It’s nothing that really surprises anyone. It’s just the way it is here.”
When asked whether state Democrats were finally waking up to the budget crisis, Amrozowicz begged to differ.
“I’m not so sure about that,” Amrozowicz said. “I think they are just waking up to the political implications of it…not so the need for a balanced (budget) or what it means for the future of the state moving forward. If they were so concerned about a real balanced budget, they would have presented one months ago.”
Amrozowicz said the incumbents are feeling constituents' anger and are acting accordingly.
"I just found it curious that after years of passing similar types of unbalanced budgets over the last 15 years that (Democrats are changing their tune) now because the political ramifications are clearly negative and made evident in our governor’s stance that he is holding the line in not passing an unbalanced budget and not allowing Illinois residents to continue to pay for all of these shortfalls," Amrozowicz said.
The public is tired and frustrated with Madigan’s budget games, and politicians are only voting against it because of its unpopularity, Amrozowicz said. They are not serving the interests of the public, but their own careers.
“So after the Madigan House budget went through, everyone was looking at that and asking ‘what the heck is this?' ’’ Amrozowicz said. “They thought it was politically unpopular. And some, like my opponent, decided, 'Well, I’ll vote against it’ because it was not politically popular.”
Voters in Amrozowicz’s district have expressed their frustration with legislators in Springfield, but he said once again that this is nothing new, that passing an unbalanced budget is the status quo. It is only when the state is facing a crisis in education, social services, employment, etc., that Democrats realized the political cost of what is happening, Amrozowicz said.
“The House passed a budget with a $7 billion shortfall, and the public is just – I know the voters in my district are just -- infuriated by that," Amrozowicz said. “The current handful of Democrats who said, ‘Oh no, this is enough’ and all those silly quotes they're saying…they weren’t saying that last year or the previous 14 years when all these unbalanced budgets were getting passed. Now that they are seeing that it’s politically unpopular to have an unbalanced budget, they are making a scene because it’s going to cost them politically. If they really were concerned about balancing the budget, they would have been doing it for years.”
Madigan’s proposed budget would not only have a $7 billion deficit, but also would raise taxes. Amrozowicz said this approach is unfair and wrong.
“It’s amoral,” Amrozowicz said. “The issue of somebody overspending recklessly and irresponsibly is looked upon with disdain when you do it in your own household. If someone goes out and spends (much) more than what they take in, they can’t go to their boss and say, 'Listen, I really have been mismanaging my money for the last 15 years -- can you give me a pay raise to cover all this overspending I’ve done?’ Any one of us would have been fired, but that is what our state legislature has been doing to us, and that’s what they are looking to do now.”
Amrozowicz said it’s time for those Democrats in the state to get fired, just like that employee asking the boss for more money to cover overspending. It’s unreasonable to ask the taxpayers to cover the state’s mismanagement, Amrozowicz said. Voters are angry about the lack of change, and Amrozowicz said the whole situation is systemic. It has to be tackled with that mindset.
“There is a systemic issue here,” Amrozowicz said. “First of all, we need to change our mindset (for) how we do things. Just like that person does at the kitchen table if they are spending their money like crazy. We can’t just spend recklessly and expect everybody else to fit the bill. So there has to be a mindset that we need to get rid of wasteful spending; we need to create an environment that attracts businesses so we can have a broader tax base to cover these deficits, which we do not have because of workman’s comp and taxes and a multitude of other things.”
Amrozowicz said attracting businesses and making the state a welcoming one to employers and families will widen the tax base and lessen the tax burden. It will be a shift in the way Springfield manages itself, and it is what is needed to fix the state.
“It’s all about the mindset,” Amrozowicz said. “You can’t just say, ‘Well, I’m going to cut just one or two things,' and it’s a magic bullet. We need a paradigm shift down in Springfield.”
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