Abernathy: Democrats 'playing games' while people in need suffer
Madigan has once again cancelled another General Assembly (the third for the month of June) while the state faces an end-of-the-month deadline before entering another year without a balanced budget. Many have opined that the speaker is manipulating the political state of Illinois by proposing ineffective legislation to stall budget talks and paint Gov. Bruce Rauner in a bad light.
Abernathy, running for House District 59, said Madigan's focus in Springfield is on securing his political career rather than securing a future for the state's residents.
“Mike Madigan and the Democratic elite are playing games, and the only people losing are the residents of Illinois," Abernathy told the Lake County Gazette. “He continues to put politics and his power over the people. Instead of continuing to work toward a budget, Madigan keeps canceling budget meetings. To him, the election is more important than the people that aren’t getting services they need, schools funded and opening in the fall, and businesses being able to keep their doors open.”
Illinois is already witnessing the consequences of businesses struggling to keep their doors open with its high unemployment rate.
The state had the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, at 6.4 percent in May, trailing only Alaska, at 6.7 percent. While 6.4 percent seems like good-albeit-somber news compared with the 6.6 percent rate in April, the numbers tell another story: A net of 9,100 unemployed Illinoisans dropped out of the workforce. The state also had a net loss of 2,500 payroll jobs.
Abernathy said the unemployment rate is not entirely accurate. She believes it may be higher.
“I believe the unemployment rate here in Illinois is even higher than what is being reported,” Abernathy said. “How many people just stopped looking for a job? We can continue on this path, and Illinois won’t have any unemployment. We also won’t have any businesses left to hire.”
The state is facing more than an unemployment crisis. Its women are being disproportionately affected by the budget impasse. Many women depend on state-backed programs and services. These services are now in jeopardy of being cut or reduced drastically. Programs such as rape-crisis centers, family and infant care, and assistance for single mothers are facing as much of an uncertain future as the recipients they are designed to serve.
“The women in Illinois are truly suffering at the hands of Mike Madigan,” Abernathy said. “While he continues to play games, women are losing their child care, thus their jobs, and children are losing their homes. I am a mother, I feel their pain.”
Abernathy knows firsthand about struggling mothers.
“I have had a mother with three children live with us for six months until we were able to secure housing for the family,” Abernathy said. “There are many more like her out there. These are the vulnerable that are feeling the brunt of the budget impasse. Health care services are being treated on a most-immediate first. What have we become? ‘You aren’t suffering enough, so we can’t see you today.”
The Republican hopeful urges politicians to stop playing with the lives of the citizens for their own political gain.
“We see right through it, and now so do the voters,” Abernathy said.