A message from State Rep. Mike Tryon:
Many of you may have received an inflammatory mailing within the last few days about funding for Illinois’ road and bridge projects.
The mailing takes aim at legislators who voted last month to provide Governor Rauner with the tools he needs to bring an unbalanced budget he inherited from Governor Quinn back into balance.
The group that funded the mailer represents road builders and members of the road builders’ union in Illinois.
My office has received several calls and emails about the mailing and I appreciate that my constituents are taking the time to reach out and seek facts.
First, I’d like to state that I am 100% committed to rebuilding Illinois’ roads.
My voting record on the issue of road funding speaks for itself.
Just some of the projects I helped secure funding for include
- the widening of Route 47 in Huntley
- the full interchange at Route 47 and I-90
- the widening of Route 14 and Route 31 in Crystal Lake
- the construction of the Algonquin Bypass
Suggestions that my votes in Springfield put Illinoisans at risk on our roads are preposterous.
To understand the purpose for the General Assembly’s emergency budget votes last month, Illinoisans need to look back at the budget that was approved for this current fiscal year.
Last May, House and Senate Democrats sent Governor Quinn a budget they knew was out of balance by $1.6 billion.
I did not vote for that budget and neither did any House or Senate Republicans.
But the controlling Party sent the disingenuous budget to Quinn and he signed it, knowing it would create a crisis.
- Funding for prison guard and court reporter salaries
- money earmarked for a childcare program that allowed our most disadvantaged citizens to work outside the home
- funding for programs that assist the mentally ill
were almost depleted.
To prevent the shuttering of these and other programs and budget areas, a bipartisan coalition of legislators took bold steps to ensure no disruption of services would occur.
Action taken to bring the current year budget into balance will not affect next year’s annual allocation for road construction or put IDOT operations in jeopardy.
Those facts, plus the very important fact that the Illinois Road fund currently sits on a balance of over $1 billion, was conveniently left out of the mailing.
I support the ongoing effort by state leaders to implement a steady stream of revenue to keep up with road and bridge projects.
Concerns regarding Illinois’ infrastructure are real and I share those concerns; however, to achieve our goal of rebuilding Illinois we need to first deal with the immediate need to turnaround Illinois’ finances.
We have a Governor who is insisting on a balanced budget for FY16 and I will do everything I can to help that budget become a reality.
This goal can be achieved, but not through short sighted, adversarial measures aimed to divide the legislature (such as this ill-advised mailing), but through thoughtful negotiations where everyone comes to the table to provide input and solutions.