Mike Strick urges Democratics to step up to the plate
More specifically, they are weary of House Speaker Michael Madigan.
“What I am hearing is that they are really tired of Mike Madigan being in office for 41 years and all the Democratic reps voting him in there," he told DuPage Policy Journal. "They say, I really wish someone would step up and try to take over his seat.”
Many have boldly stated that the speaker is putting politics over his constituents, alleging that his actions are for the sole purpose of deepening the fiscal crisis. Their frustration was not eased due to Speaker Madigan canceling another General Assembly Session on June 22 at a time when the state only had nine more days or less to pass a budget before facing another fiscal year without one.
Strick said he is not surprised at Madigan canceling the session. He said he believes it is a play to try to make Gov. Bruce Rauner look bad.
“Yeah, I saw that again,” he said. “It’s no surprise to me, truthfully, because they [the Democratic majority] are really trying to sock it to the citizens of the state. And they’re really trying to make Bruce Rauner look bad in every way they can but people aren’t buying it. They people that I talk to, they understand that Mike Madigan — everything goes through him. He makes the decisions for the entire state.”
So far, not many in Illinois are pleased with the decisions by Madigan. Among them are women, who are allegedly being disproportionately affected by budget impasse. Women utilize many programs and services such as crisis centers, intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities, home visits for teen parents, and prenatal and family care management for at-risk mothers, and cancer screening care. Many of these programs are in trouble because they rely on state funding.
Strick said he empathizes with the women and those dependent on specialized services. Instead, he said he targets elected lawmakers for their apathy in resolving the budget crisis.
“It has to affect them,” he said. “It’s affecting a lot of people in the state. And when something really becomes a crisis, that’s when, I think, Madigan will finally understand what is going on. But I don’t understand why all the other reps — the other Democratic reps — aren’t speaking up. Why aren’t they coming to the plate and saying ‘hey, let’s get something done.’ I haven’t read anything about [State Rep] Stephanie Kifowit making any statements to try to get this budget worked out in my district.”
Strick warned of a possible major crisis if lawmakers do not step beyond their indifference and take responsibility. He urged them to step up and challenge Madigan.
“What’s it going to take before they finally step up and do something?” he asked. “There is going to be some major crisis where an entity just can’t keep going and they’ll have to close their doors. And then where do these people [the most vulnerable] go? They’re going to go to the E.R. and it’s going to cost the state even more money through Medicaid.”
Strick said he wishes that the Democratic majority would step up and go against Madigan because he believes everything goes through the speaker. If there is a bill, it first goes through Madigan. If Madigan doesn’t like it, it’s not going to pass, Strick insisted.
This standoff has already caused the state to lose businesses and jobs. The unemployment numbers paints a picture of fluctuation month to month. The most recent numbers show that while unemployment went down, so did the work force. The state lost 2,500 jobs.
People are leaving, Strick asserted.
“That tells me what I keep telling all the constituents out there — that the more people that leave, the more they are going to have to rely on the people that are here to pay the bills,” he said. “The more they are going to rely on people that stay to pay the bills. It’s going to be a never ending cycle of tax and spend. Tax and spend."
The candidate and business owner said he wants to see solutions to cut spending but it comes down to finding a balanced budget. He said that any more delays will not be healthy for the state and concluded by once again urging Democrats to work together to set things right.
“The longer we delay this budget, the more it is going to cost the state in either penalties, interests, or loan payments,” Strick said. “It’s not sustainable and I really wish that the Democratic majority would come on board and try to pass a budget that is reasonable and not $7 billion out of balance. We can’t do it.”