McCombie decries 'false hope,' demands real budget progress
Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) delivered an impassioned plea to the House on Thursday, imploring legislators to work together to restore the people’s faith in government.
“I don’t want to be one to rise to just to hear myself talk, but after a 25-minute session yesterday, I must rise today to express my frustration and disappointment,” McCombie said.
She said she was sent to the capital to make a difference, understanding that there would be hard decisions to make and hard votes to take, but the lack of improvement has been disheartening.
“I may be naïve, but I honestly thought that in today’s environment here in Illinois, we all believed the situation here is very dire,” McCombie said. “We would be voting on bills that would help our districts and the people of Illinois. Instead, we have been voting on bills that we cannot fund, bills that give false hope, bills that are self-serving and drafted to hurt each other. This is not about us. Where is our sense of urgency, our sense of honesty and our sense of good?”
The former mayor of Savanna stressed the importance of having a balanced budget to ensure an effective government.
“For Savannah, it has allowed us to plan for the future and long-term projects that we are doing today,” McCombie said. “It allowed us to execute day-to-day operations without interruptions. It allowed us to deliver services to those who depend on them.”
The current legislative session closes at the end of this month, yet her colleagues seem indifferent about developing a budget, McCombie said.
“We all know, even those that aren’t listening, that we have three weeks before a statutory deadline for us to pass a budget," she said. "We have made no progress in the House, and this week I wonder why we are here. We have done very little on the floor and session has even been canceled for tomorrow, which some of you are very happy about. People, time is running out. We have to work more, not less, to pass a balanced budget with reforms. We must restore the people’s faith, provide stability and start to grow our economy.”
McCombie concluded by asking for a united approach.
“I encourage...us all to use our remaining time here in Springfield to push our senior members and our leadership to work together,” she said. “Please, let's be kind, let’s negotiate, let’s compromise. Please help me to the job I was sent here to do.”
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