LETTER TO EDITOR: Morthland proposes pay cut for officials

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic

Last week, Illinois heard a tale with a locally familiar ring. Governor Pat Quinn has given out more raises to members of his staff than he has staff members.

He did this while the chasm in Illinois’ budget gaped to $13 billion, our unfunded pension liability ballooned past the $60 billion mark, and our worst-in-the-nation bond rating slid into a slot between Iceland and Iraq.

Where I live, it reopened the wound of the Rock Island County Board’s attempt to give 12.5 percent pay raises to incoming elected officials while asking the rest of the staff to tighten their belts … or worse.

I am not suggesting that public employees should work unpaid or that raises are never appropriate. However, granting raises to elected officials and gubernatorial staff when government’s financial house is collapsing is as revealing as it is reprehensible.

These acts have demonstrated that our state and local governments suffer from the same disease: insular arrogance contracted through too much time in office and one-party rule.

Thankfully, the Rock Island County Board heard the roar of the people and rescinded the raises. Now, Springfield must learn its lesson from Rock Island County.

At election time, let’s replace the Springfield cronies of the Chicago machine. Let’s vote in new faces with common-sense voices. This November, let’s make Illinois great again.

Rich Morthland, Candidate for State Representative, District 71