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Lincoln Daily News
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Lincoln, IL 62656
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To the editor:
Last week Democrat lawmakers pushed a self-serving
agenda and asked for their paychecks to be put ahead of schools,
human services and small businesses who provide critical services to
those most in need and taxpayers. Now, a judge has ruled that
lawmakers get to jump the line and be paid first. They were
represented in court by Speaker Madiganís lawyer who also fought
against fair maps and term limits.
This is wrong. It is unfair for elected officials to be prioritized
ahead of taxpayers.
Comptroller Susana Mendoza should have kept her promise to keep
lawmakers pay in line by immediately asking the court for a stay of
the decision during appeal, as was done by AFSCME in their contract
lawsuit against taxpayers. Instead, she immediately began printing
paychecks for lawmakers and statewide officials, including herself.
And not just one monthís pay Ė but more than half-a-yearsí worth,
costing taxpayers $8.6 million. The judge did not order her to fund
backpay, she chose to do that herself. This shows her true intent:
helping Speaker Madiganís Democrat lawmakers rather than taxpayers.
Comptroller Mendoza served ten years in Madiganís majority in the
General Assembly. In that time, she voted for the very tax hikes,
borrowing , unbalanced budgets and pension holidays that have
created financial problems in Illinois today. Now, sheís not
fighting to fix it. By not seeking a stay, Mendoza has allowed
Madiganís lawmakers to jump ahead of all those who are in line
waiting to be paid.
[to top of second column in this letter]
I encourage her to immediately seek independent counsel from
Attorney General Madigan. This is an issue that affects every single
person in this state, and itís vital that on an issue that affects
all to avoid even the slightest appearance of a conflict of
interest. The attorney general is not independentóher paycheck is in
the same line with lawmakers. By getting outside counsel and
requesting an immediate stay, she can put lawmakers back in line.
Illinoisans deserve an independent voice in this matter.
It is unreasonable for Madiganís majority in state government to
resist change and continue leading our state in the wrong direction.
Their first duty is to pass a balanced budget, live within our means
and pay for what we prioritize. Itís long past time they do it.
Until then, they should wait in line like every other organization
waiting to be paid. No budget. No pay.
-Deputy Governor Leslie Munger
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