Gov. Bruce Rauner
Gov. Bruce Rauner's fiscal year 2017 budget address Wednesday provoked split reactions from the current and hopeful representatives in House District 72.
State Rep. Pat Verschoore (D-Milan), who will be retiring at the end of his term, felt that the Republican governor's address ignored the working middle class.
"The governor has an obligation to give an annual budget address in order to propose a financial plan for the upcoming year, but I am frustrated and fearful that Rauner’s vision for Illinois continues to damage and disregard working families," Verschoore said. "Since he’s been in office, conditions have not improved in our state, and many families in my community are still struggling to reach an economic recovery."
Verschoore went on to talk about a general feeling of disenfranchisement his constituents are feeling under the current state of Illinois.
"Every day in my area, I talk to senior citizens, students and parents who know that their hard work isn’t getting them as far as it used to, and who see that people in power aren’t concerned about the realities they face," Verschoore said. "Their salaries aren’t covering the true cost of living that they are faced with today because of inflation and we need to work to change that. Also, on behalf of the working families in my district, I find it offensive that the governor continues to speak in fancy phrases and to gloss over the harm that his policies would do to the people who keep our communities working."
Brandi McGuire, a Republican who is running for the open representative seat, said the governor outlined a solid plan to address the current budget issue.
"We definitely need to look at the governor’s turnaround agenda," McGuire said. "He was elected by the people for a reason. he was elected to do a job and that’s what he’s trying to do."
McGuire praised Rauner for the leadership he displayed through the speech.
"Gov. Rauner is providing bold leadership at a time when it is desperately needed," McGuire said. "The governor called upon House Speaker (Michael) Madigan and Senate President (John) Cullerton to work with him to protect core services while reforming government. I applaud the governor and hope that House Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton answer the governor's call to action and cooperation."
While Verschoore and McGuire disagreed on the governor's role in addressing the budget issues, they both put forth the idea that the two parties needed to work together to solve the issue and expressed a willingness to do so.
"A balanced approach that protects the middle class is the only way forward, and I am ready and open to working with everyone to put the budget disagreements to rest,” Verschoore said.
McGuire echoed this inclination toward working together.
"I am running for office to work with the governor and well-intended Democrats to reform Illinois and to lead on issues to protect and empower the families of Illinois," McGuire said. "Again, the governor made it very clear today that he is ready to work across party lines to enact a balanced budget alongside structural reforms that will grow the economy and benefit taxpayers. I support the governor's efforts to balance the budget and bring about desperately needed structural reforms and hope that Democrats will join the governor in these efforts for the benefit of the people of our state."