GOP state House candidate promotes Munger’s ‘no budget, no pay’ law
Applauding Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger’s recent “no budget, no pay” legislation, Michelle Smith, Republican candidate for Senate District 49 – Plainfield, weighed in, stating that the ruling will uphold state lawmakers’ accountability in Springfield.
"This common-sense legislation will keep legislators accountable to their constituents," Smith said. "It is unacceptable and unconstitutional for legislators to leave Springfield without producing a balanced state budget. Our seniors and school kids don't deserve lawmakers more concerned about getting back to their district to fight for re-election than with fully funding schools and social services."
Munger's legislation mandates that for Illinois’ Constitutional Officers and the 177 members of the General Assembly to be paid their salaries, they must first pass a balanced budget. She made the decision in April — despite state law stipulating that elected officials be paid, plus resistance from colleagues — requiring lawmakers to wait to be paid, alongside vendors and social service agencies.
“I don’t know of an employer that would pay someone that is not doing their job. Why should taxpayers settle for less?” Munger said. “We tell small businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, schools and others to wait in line for months for what they’re owed by the state — it’s unconscionable that we would prioritize politician pay and move them to the front.”
Munger is preparing to propose legislation guaranteeing that if a balanced budget is not in place, there is no compensation whatsoever for elected leaders — as opposed to delayed payment. She recently noted that Susana Mendoza, her rival for re-election as comptroller, has spent a decade in the State House voting in favor of all of Speaker Mike Madigan’s proposals — budgets, tax increases and pension holidays — that Munger believes go down the wrong path for the state.
“I was raised in Joliet, I met my husband at U of I and raised my family in Lincolnshire,” Munger said. “We love Illinois and I, like many Illinois voters, have seen enough of the machine politics that have made Susana Mendoza. Enough is enough. When I look at her record, I can’t help but ask, what’s the deal?”
Candidate Smith, who has long lobbied for government reform at the state level — advocating for term limits, a balanced budget, and removal of hindrances to job growth and economic stability in Illinois — expressed full support of Munger’s ruling.
“I am 100 percent behind Comptroller Munger's new 'no budget, no pay' legislation,” Smith posted on her Facebook page. “It is essential that legislators do the hard work needed to pass fully funded budgets that protect schools and social services.”
Smith -- a mother of four, wife of 26 years and a small business owner -- serves as president of the Plainfield District 202 School Board, the fifth-largest school district statewide. She has held the position since 2009 and accomplished budget consolidation, negotiating with unions and working with more than 3,000 employees.
“As president of Plainfield Township 202's School Board, I know firsthand how the uncertainty resulting from a budget impasse harms our schools,” Smith said via her Facebook page. “Not knowing how much funding we will receive from the state prevents us from making critical investments in the education of our young people. ‘No budget, no pay’ will provide the certainty we need to do our job.”
Smith stated that her qualifications for holding office include understanding the values and wants of her community. “I am a concerned citizen who is stepping up and trying to make a difference in Springfield for all the citizens of Illinois,” she said. “I will not be just another politician. When elected, I will refuse the state-funded pension [and] work with anyone who is serious about serious change in Springfield. The people are tired of politics as usual. They want real leadership. I am a leader in my community. I have the experience. On Day One, I am ready to work for the people.”
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