Lewis cringes at Cullerton’s commitment to crooked budget
State Senate candidate Seth Lewis has taken umbrage with his District 23 opponent's vote for House Speaker Mike Madigan’s (D-District 22) lopsided budget “minutes before the deadline” on Tuesday signifying the end of the spring legislative session.
“Unfortunately, my opponent Senator Tom Cullerton took the courageous stand of voting 'Present' on a budget that would necessitate a $1,000 tax increase on each Illinois family,” Lewis said.
A "present" vote is effectively a "no" vote -- but one that sends the message that the lawmaker agrees with the basic premise of the bill, just not all the details. It's often used when a lawmaker doesn't want to take a hard stance.
Just before ending its spring session on Tuesday, the Illinois House rejected by a 17-31 vote Madigan’s version of the budget—which would have spent more than $40 billion and surpassed revenue by $7 billion, deepening the state’s debt and surely forcing a tax increase.
“We need a senator who will stand up to Mike Madigan and speak up for the people of the 23rd district, who continue to be crushed by policies and politicians that want to raise taxes and govern without accountability,” Lewis said. “It is mind boggling that Tom Cullerton would leave Springfield again without passing a balanced budget for the rest of the year and without ensuring that schools will open this fall.”
With state lawmakers adjourning for the summer and no end in sight for the nearly year-long budget impasse, already struggling public schools, state-backed college and universities, and social service providers that receive state funding may be forced to shut down or lay off employees.
Lewis said on his website that Illinois’ issues and financial status are putting jobs, homes and the next generation at risk.
Running on a triple platform of “Improve, Invest and Increase”—improving Illinois, investing in the future, and increasing transparency and accountability—Lewis pledged his full commitment to restoring equilibrium to the state coffers.
“Springfield is a mess, and as your state Senator I will fight to balance the budget, put more money into our schools, and engineer real change for the people of the 23rd district,” he said.
The Chicago Tribune recently endorsed Lewis, saying he “understands the needs of small businesses. He knows what it means to make a payroll. He also has an inside perspective on education issues.”
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