McGuire defends Munger’s 'no budget, no pay' for legislators
Wholly encouraging State Comptroller Leslie Munger's "no budget, no pay" ruling, Brandi McGuire, Republican candidate for State House Representative from District 72, recently clarified her position and priorities on Illinois’ top fiscal issues.
“I fully support Comptroller Leslie Munger's proposed "No Budget, No Pay" legislation,” McGuire said. “Our state is facing an unprecedented financial crisis and our legislators are not in Springfield doing their jobs. The people of this state have voiced their anger at the cutting of services and vital assistance to our most vulnerable citizens. Our state has more than $10 billion in unpaid bills.”
Munger issued her decision on Aug. 17 requiring that a balanced budget be passed before the state’s Constitutional Officers -- and the 177 members of the General Assembly -- could be paid their salary, saying “I don’t know of an employer that would pay someone that is not doing their job. Why should taxpayers settle for less?” and calling it “unconscionable” that Illinois would move politicians to the front of the line.
McGuire upheld Munger’s decision on both the state and local levels, pointing to her own district’s struggles as an example of the fallout from Illinois’ rocky financial position.
“Illinois businesses are not expanding but rather moving to other states,” McGuire said. “Here in Rock Island County our businesses are moving to Iowa taking not only revenue but our workforce with them. Nonprofits and social providers are not only cutting services in Rock Island County, but closing their doors, leaving our seniors, veterans and those with disabilities at risk.”
McGuire indicated that lawmakers ought to be paid, but with the caveat that vulnerable citizens, nonprofits and essential services come first, comparing the system to that of a family whose youngest members should be top priority.
“Being a legislator should be like parenting: your children always come first,” she said. “As a parent, you insure that they have everything they need and you get what is left over. Instead, many of our legislators, by not passing a balanced budget, have placed themselves before the people and the fiscal health of Illinois.”
Munger persisted with her pronouncement even in the face of opposition from colleagues; furthermore, she is currently preparing additional legislation to make sure that if Illinois continues to lack a legitimately balanced budget, there will be no compensation for lawmakers whatsoever.
Additionally, the comptroller mentioned that her election rival, Susana Mendoza, has voted 100 percent in favor of all of Speaker Mike Madigan’s measures -- be they budget-related, tax increases or pension holidays -- for the 10 years she has served in the state House.
Munger shared McGuire’s frustration as she commented on the state of the state.
“I was raised in Joliet, I met my husband at U of I and raised my family in Lincolnshire,” Munger said. “We love Illinois and I, like many Illinois voters, have seen enough of the machine politics that have made Susana Mendoza. Enough is enough. When I look at her record, I can’t help but ask, what’s the deal?”
Munger issued her declaration after she initially directed her staff in April to pay politicians, including herself, just like every other regular state vendor. She initiated the policy requiring them to wait, even though state law mandates that elected officials be paid.
“Legislators need to be reminded that they are not above the people they are serving,” McGuire said. “Comptroller Munger's proposed legislation is a loud and clear message to those that were elected to serve the people, not themselves. The question is, are the legislators listening? The people are speaking. It's time for Springfield to not only listen, but act.”