Pritchard Letter: Speak Up

Pritchard's PerspectiveLetter: Speak Up

To the editor,

It’s time for citizens to speak up! I know you’re busy and speaking with elected officials is not something most people like to do. However, the Legislature and Governor are at logger heads and you are the only force that can break the impasse. They aren’t negotiating a budget or needed reforms to grow our economy. As a result our state is sinking deeper in debt, the cost of programs keeps rising and some local providers are being forced to close their doors—perhaps forever.

You probably haven’t felt the fiscal crisis that has been brewing in our state since July. Illinois is in the third month without a state budget but almost 90 percent of the usual annual expenditures are being paid through consent decrees, agreements, and court orders at rates we cannot afford. As a result, the Comptroller’s office estimates that the state is on track to overspend anticipated revenue by $8 billion this fiscal year.

Meanwhile funding for some 10 percent of the programs has been stopped. There’s no funding for program recipients who don’t have loud voices or court orders such as senior citizens trying to live less expensively in their homes rather than at a full-service care facility. Or low-income families who need assistance paying for child care so they can work or get training for a better job.

Also not being paid are the public colleges and universities who are trying to prepare the workforce that will add billions of dollars to the economy and attract companies and jobs to Illinois. Students who rely on financial aid to attend college will likely have to drop out of school in the spring semester without funding for the Monetary Assistance Program.

My fellow legislators and I have gone down to Springfield week after week ready and willing to tackle reforms and the budget, but have been blocked by legislative leaders. Further complicating the issue is our Governor who, perhaps wisely, wants reform legislation before talking about the budget.

To get conversations started among the leaders and legislators, citizens need to share their voices and get involved. Write Letters to the Editor in major city newspapers; post comments on social media; or call the offices of the legislative leaders and the Governor. Get together with your church groups, service clubs, and even book clubs to talk about the issue and ways to put pressure on Springfield. Without pressure from constituents, we aren’t likely to see either side budge.

We’re at a crossroads in this state. Our state leaders are used to doing things one way, but its time to adjust course, come together through compromise and reform. The longer this goes on, the more difficult the recovery will be. It shouldn’t be about what side is going to win this battle, but instead about making sure that Illinois doesn’t lose.

Bob Pritchard

State Representative 70th District

http://www.pritchardstaterep.org/2015/09/commentary-from-state-representative.html

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Robert W. Pritchard (R-Hinckley) is the Illinois State Representative for the 70th district, serving the residents in portions of DeKalb, Boone, and Kane Counties. Bob has been serving in the Illinois House since 2003. Pritchard, affectionately known as Bob, has been serving in the Illinois House since 2003. Biography Bob was born February 2, 1945. He grew up on a farm outside Hinckley, Illinois where growing corn and soybeans instilled in him hard work and a sense of dedication. Bob and his family continue to their hard work by farming. He is married to his wife Mary, Associate Dean at Northern Illinois University, and has two grown sons, Matthew and Gregory. Education Bob majored in communications from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) earning both his bachelors and masters degree. Bob’s passion for farming and his education in communication gave him the unique opportunity to enjoy working in both fields. Professional Life Beginning as a Radio and TV broadcaster for a local area stations, Bob delivered the farming updates and local weather reports. Bob took advantage of his skills and has worked for universities as well as filled marketing, public relations, and community relation roles at DeKalb Genetics Corporation and Monsanto. Community Leader Before becoming a member of the Illinois House of Representatives Bob was an energetic and busy contributor to the communities of DeKalb County. Getting his hands dirty in all parts of local government, Bob served on the Hinckley-Big Rock Board of Education. Bob was never far from his roots in the farming community, and was elected to a leadership position for the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. He also served as chairman for the DeKalb County Board. Legislative History Bob has diligently worked for the betterment on a wide gamut of issues from early childhood and education, healthcare, conservation and the environment, job creation, and protecting the manufacturing industry. The values of hard work and dedication that were instilled in Bob from his years of farming are reflected in his mentality of representing his constituents.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Didn’t Pritchard “miss” the vote when the Dems tried to override the Governor’s veto on the Union mediator bill? I believe he was the only Republican who missed the vote. Bob, you need to “get involved”, after all you are PAID to be involved and you collect a bloated pension to be involved. Pritchard gets involved only when he’s receiving campaign donations from ComEd or Ameren. http://www.chicagotribune.com/ct-house-roll-call-on-labor-bill-20150902-htmlstory.html#

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