Few accomplishments as Dems' squabbles send session into overtime          Send a link to a friend

[June 02, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- No electric rate relief and no budget, but pay raises for state officials, $300 million in extra taxes on employers and a staggering increase in gambling -- such are the "accomplishments" of the Democratic-controlled Senate as the adjournment deadline came and went Thursday, according to state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington.

The 95th General Assembly is officially in overtime, at a cost of $22,125 per day for legislators' meals and lodging. Each legislator is also allowed to collect mileage for trips to and from Springfield.

"We are in legislative gridlock," Brady said. "The media report that Democrat leaders of this state have spent only about three hours discussing a budget that could top $50 billion! They had until May 31 to get the work of the people done, but they failed. Now Republican lawmakers have the opportunity to step in and arbitrate and provide the kind of leadership that is sorely lacking."

The 44th District senator says Senate Democrat leaders have once again targeted Illinois employers and the jobs they provide, passing $300 million in additional business taxes.

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"We are the fifth-largest state in the nation, but because of the tax and fee policies of the last four years, we are now ranked the fifth-worst job-performing state. Instead of proposing record tax increases to prop up their bloated spending plans, the governor and his Democrat colleagues would better serve the citizens by promoting strong economic and job growth," Brady said. "These policies cost us jobs! When are they going to wake up? They need to work to balance our budget without continuing to reach into the pockets of Illinois taxpayers."

The 44th District senator says he also did not support a supplemental spending bill that includes a 10 percent pay raise for lawmakers, or legislation that would add three new riverboat casino licenses for the Chicago suburban region, a land-based casino for Chicago and more positions for the nine current riverboat casino licenses.

[Text from news release sent on behalf of Sen. Bill Brady and received from Illinois Senate Republican staff]


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