Illinois Black Caucus Member’s collectively expressed disappointment in Governor Rauner’s lack of leadership
by Larry Luster, Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Executive Director, @ilbcfoundation
Illinois Black Caucus member’s held a press conference to respond to Governor Rauner’s State of the State Address.
In what proved to be the highlight of an otherwise redundant State of the State Address day, in a show of unity, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus faced the governor’s office for a scathing press conference. The Illinois Black Caucus is a collection of black legislators from both the House of Representatives and Senate.
Members voiced disappointment and pointed out the lack of solutions that plagued the governor’s speech. There was no clearer message than that of Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus: “I really feel like the governor avoided our real problems and didn’t offer up any solutions.”
The caucus has continued to focus on social justice, equitable access to education for students and social service funding for our most vulnerable population. The caucus fights for these causes while advocating for responsible fiscal management on behalf of state government without saddling these vulnerable populations with an undue financial burden.
Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), chairwoman of the Senate Revenue Committee and Senate Black Caucus, spoke about the importance of revenue and how it contributes to a balance budget. “It is a fact that none of the goals that any of us have can happened with an $11 million in backlog of bills or a $4.5 million deficit.”
Chairwoman of the House Black Caucus, Representative Camille Lilly also offered her take on the Governor’s leadership.
“Illinois has gone without a budget for far too long. This is unacceptable and we must work together to ensure that we provide relief to Illinois families that have suffered as a result of this impasse. Passing a budget continues to be a top priority of the Black Caucus.
Representative Chris Welch (D-Hillside) challenged the Governor to consider listening to the people affected by his austerity measures.
“We will continue fighting for a state budget that protects vital services and the middle class. I share thousands of families across the state’s frustration about the stalemate going on in Springfield, but I refuse to support an agenda that hurts families. I encourage the governor to come to my district and listen to the concerns of our community to understand that it’s time to move Illinois forward.”