The General Assembly recently adjourned its fall veto session without addressing many of the major problems which confront Illinois. Among them:
- Illinois has a $4.4 billion shortfall in its Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund which it’s obligated to repay to the Federal government (with interest accruing at a rate of almost $300k per day) or we risk having “speed bumps” imposed in the form of huge tax increases and benefit cuts. Instead of paying off the debt with ARPA funds which we’re now sitting on, the General Assembly irresponsibly chose to delay the implementation of the speed bumps for six months.
- The Cook County State’s Attorney has declined to charge five suspects caught on camera last month engaging in a deadly shootout. A bill was filed to allow law enforcement agencies to override the State’s Attorney’s rejection of the felony charge if the evidence supporting the charge is clear and convincing. But we left town before any action could be taken on it.
- Our Legislative Inspector General is resigning at the end of December because she doesn’t think we’re serious about ethics reform. Imagine that! While several outstanding candidates were put forth to replace her, the issue was never brought up while we were in Springfield. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
Instead of staying in Illinois and addressing these and other pressing concerns, Governor Pritzker is jetting off to the World Climate Summit in Glasgow to tout the passage of his bright and shiny new energy legislation which will blanket the state with windmills and solar farms as far as the eye can see and transform Illinois from exporter to importer of energy by the end of the decade.
There’s nothing like going to some upscale locale for a week to preen among the world’s hoity-toity to establish one’s bona fides as someone who’s serious about appearing to care about the little people and the future of Planet Earth. Says the Governor: “People want to come to a state focused on fighting climate change and this is the new leading state in the Midwest in fighting climate change.” You bet, Governor, we’re right behind you, but first why don’t you show us how serious you are by putting a wind farm out in Lake Michigan right off the beach from your lakefront mansion (the one you didn’t remove the toilets from).
There are almost 1 billion people worldwide who don’t have electricity. Climate change isn’t killing four million Africans a year, it’s the lack of basic necessities powered by electricity. These first-world dilettantes should be having their summit in someplace like Burundi or Somalia where they’d rub shoulders with people to whom light bulbs, clean running water and indoor plumbing would be regarded as a miracle out of Scripture.
Instead, we’re going to get the same high-minded platitudes and promises to take from the rich and give to the poor that we’ve been getting for who knows how long, and we’re no further along than when Earth Day was first celebrated over 50 years ago. It won’t be any different this time.
Governor, the problems you need to solve are a lot closer to home.