The one reality that should guide my vote for governor is the financial havoc Rauner caused as the chief executive of Illinois.
As an adjunct instructor at Northeastern Illinois University, I was a witness to the chaos that he was mainly responsible for. Due to severe budget cuts, faculty and staff were affected by unpaid furloughs, layoffs, the elimination of positions and bumping based on seniority. Some exceptional employees even moved out of state to escape the financial chaos.
What happened at Northeastern was replicated across the state in every educational institution, department or agency that depended on state funding.
These public employees suffered stress, uncertainty and financial hardship. For most of them, the choice to vote for J.B. Pritzker will be based on the reality that they went through.
— Larry Vigon, Chicago
A plea for honesty
Being a lifelong Illinois resident, I am disappointed that we are even considering a tax hike as part of a campaign for governor. I personally don’t care that we are one of a handful of states that has a flat tax rate. We are also a state that continues to have an exodus of residents and one of the highest unfunded pension liabilities.
Look at the impact our real estate taxes have on our property values versus other states. Except in small pockets, property values have not yet recovered from the economic downturn while other states have thrived. Homes are selling for a fraction of replacement value in many areas which is unheard of in other states.
Never, ever has any form of tax change resulted in a tax decrease to any resident over a lasting period of time. Toll roads were to become freeways in 1973 and look where we are today. We not so long ago incurred a 32 percent income tax increase in Illinois, and many are impacted by the federal cap of $10,000 on state and local tax deductions. Is that not enough of a tax hit?
Why must our elected officials look at revenue instead of costs? Make the hard decisions to cut our bloated government costs instead of appealing to the voters with tax and spend, spend, spend promises that sound good, but cannot be accomplished without an additional tax burden. Where will any money come from for new programs when we can’t fund what is in place today? Instead of promoting a progressive tax rate program, address things that will make a dent in areas that impact our budget — which are costs. For once, be honest with the voters.
— Rick Sidor, Eco Tekk International, Kildeer
The Illinois and Indiana divisions of the conservation organization Izaak Walton league of America salute and appreciate the Tribune’s excellent coverage of issues affecting Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes.
The lakes are an irreplaceable asset representing over one-fifth of the world’s fresh water supply. They supply water to over 48 million people and support a $7 billion a year sport fishing industry.
As your coverage has ably pointed out, threats like industrial spills, invasive species, shoreline erosion, urban and farm runoff, etc., all threaten the lake and our local economy.
The public needs to be heard right now on the congressional farm bill and its conservation programs. The Senate version offers the greatest help for the lake. The next big issue is what to do at Brandon Road in Joliet to stop the spread of invasive species, such as Asian carp, from reaching Lake Michigan.
We hope that the administration and Congress will do the right thing with multiple barriers to stop invasive species from entering Lake Michigan and help keep more invasive species from entering the Mississippi River watershed.
An informed public is our best ally to protect Lake Michigan for future generations and a vigilant news media will help make that happen.
— Keith Halper, Indiana Division, Izaak Walton League of America, Calumet City, Ill.
— Charlie Palmgren, Illinois Division, Izaak Walton League of America, Geneseo, Ill.
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October 7, 2018 at 06:10AM