Amrozowicz laments state high court ruling against remapping
The Illinois Supreme Court's recent decision on the Independent Map Amendment is a defeat for supporters, and Mike Amrozowicz, Republican candidate for state Senate in District 31, is upset with the ruling.
A divided court agreed 4-3 with a Cook County circuit judge that the redistricting-reform ballot measure did not fit the narrow legal window for citizen initiatives to change the 1970 Illinois Constitution.
"Like the half-million Illinois citizens who signed petitions to get the Independent Map Amendment on the November ballot, I am frustrated by today's ruling,” Amrozowicz told the Lake County Gazette.
Amrozowicz is none too pleased by his opponent, incumbent state Rep. Melinda Bush (D_Grayslake), for not standing up to House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
“I am frustrated that Melinda Bush stood idly by while her party leader, Mike Madigan, sued to stop the amendment and denied voters the opportunity to restore competitive elections,” Amrozowicz said. “I am frustrated that Madigan and Bush have failed to even bring term limits up for a vote in the legislature.”
Amrozowicz promises to fight for redistricting reform and term limits if he is elected to the state Senate. He also said he would not hesitate to call out Democrats or Republicans.
Amrozowicz also supports the “No Budget No Pay’ bill proposed last week by state Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger, which would require state Assembly legislators to solve the budget impasse before getting paid. Despite some legislators calling this an act of extortion, Amrozowicz said politicians in Springfield have had it too easy.
“I fully support the comptroller's efforts with the 'No Budget No Pay' bill,” Amrozowicz told the Lake County Gazette. “Politicians in Illinois are used to special treatment. They seem to think they should play by a different set of rules than everyone else in the state.”
Currently, payments have been delayed over the budget impasse in general, but Munger recently told crowds at a State Fair rally that all constitutional officers and General Assembly members should wait in line like everyone else for their pay.
Amrozowicz said the passing of a balanced budget is part of the Illinois Constitution.
“Passing a balanced budget is a basic and constitutionally required part of the job for state legislators, and yet year after year, our politicians pass phony budgets where spending exceeds revenues,” Amrozowicz said. "Lately, they haven't bothered to pass a budget at all. It's time that we hold politicians accountable and make them play by the same set of rules as everyone else: if you want to get paid, do your job first.”
Amrozowicz also laments the loss of manufacturing jobs in the state over the past few years, as companies move their operations to states with better business climates, and the effect on the state's economy in general. A report by the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability links this outward migration of manufacturing jobs to the state's rising unemployment rate.
“People who don't sell anything can't buy anything,” Amrozowicz said. “Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy. When we create products here at home, it provides good-paying jobs for middle-class families.”
Amrozowicz also said the loss of manufacturing households takes a toll on the state's tax base.
“The income from those jobs enables those families to spend money in the service sector, stimulating more job growth,” Amrozowicz said. “And all of that growth and economic activity brings in tax revenue for the state, helping us pay for critical government spending, such as investments in our infrastructure, schools, and social services.
At a time when Michigan has seen an increase of 600,000 manufacturing jobs, Illinois must improve its business conditions or it will continue to lag behind in the Midwest, as well as the rest of the country.
“It's critical that we improve the business climate in Illinois so we can stop driving manufacturers to other states,” Amrozowicz said. “We need workers' compensation reform, property tax relief, and an end to over-burdensome regulation. When we create jobs for Illinois families, a lot of our other problems will be much easier to solve.”
Amrozowicz’s concern for the economy of Illinois and its growth prompted him to write a Chicago Tribune editorial that can be found here. A reaction to a recent report by Thomas Walstrum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Amrozowicz details the long history of the state’s difficulty in managing its budget and its spending.
Amrozowicz concluded the piece by asking voters to vote against anyone who wants to protect the status quo and, instead, vote for reform.