To the editor:

Many people I talk to in our district seem disillusioned by the current political realm and the leaders in Springfield.

The state budget should be the most transparent piece of legislation we work on collaboratively and with input from all areas of the state. However, for far too long Speaker Madigan uses this process for political gain, dropping his secret budget to the General Assembly mere hours before our May deadline.

Despite the current COVID-19 circumstances, the budget process was no different this year. The most unacceptable part of the budget was the legislative pay increase for members of the General Assembly.

The Democrat majority knew they needed to add specific language prohibiting the continuation of the funding to stop this automatic appropriation. History has shown us that even in times when they have tried to stop this in the past by writing “$0” for that line item, the courts always rule in favor of continuing the appropriation.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security continues to have unresolved issues, which I find to be disturbing as we have over one million unemployed Illinoisans trying to keep the lights on and put food on the table.

It has been hard for even someone like me to be positive about the state of affairs right now. I will donate my COLA to local charities within the 104th district just as I did last year and will continue to until Springfield starts making responsible fiscal decisions to get our state back on track.

Mike Marron

Illinois state representative

Rural Fithian