To the Editor:
Illinois has ignored calls for reform to turn around our state for far too long. However, we can change this by adopting a new mindset and identifying avenues for growth. Reimagine Illinois is a mission from Illinois House Republicans to turn around our state. As House Republican floor leader, I am energized by these new ideas to end Illinois’ culture of corruption, lead Illinois with fiscal responsibility, grow jobs and opportunities for our families, and ensure public safety.
As the first sitting lawmaker to call for former Speaker Mike Madigan’s resignation, I was relieved to see him leave office. However, Madigan’s departure from the Illinois House is only a step toward ending Illinois’ longtime and infamous culture of corruption. We can start by helping expose conflicts of interest and banning Illinois lawmakers from lobbying. We also need to pass HJRCA 4 to give Illinoisans the ability to recall elected officials and HJRCA 6 to give Illinoisans the ability to recall legislation. By increasing government transparency, we engage more with our constituents and make room for growth.
Illinois desperately needs fiscal leadership. We have unpaid bills and a growing pension crisis that crowds out essential services and hurts state finances. We must address our pension crisis, so we can fully fund them and help solve our fiscal problems. Illinoisans also deserve transparency in the appropriations process, so we will work to create a mandatory time for public comment on all appropriations bills.
As we continue our effort to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, Illinois needs a more conducive environment for economic recovery and renewal. Solutions like establishing an apprentice program, ensuring access to affordable quality healthcare, and scaling back red tape can help achieve this. With opportunity growth in Illinois, we invite prosperity.
State Rep. Mark Batinick