OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (May 2022) — As summer approaches, the temperature is rising for our national political discourse.
Across the country, those running for office run into the nastiness that has defined our politics these last few years. The recent leak of the draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected in the Roe v. Wade case on abortion rights will only escalate the tension.
As I meet with constituents and attend events across the Southland, what I see and hear is different. People want our elected officials to work together, to set aside the petty political differences and produce results.
For so much of what we work on in Springfield, collaboration is key. We have to work together to build consensus for state budgets and state funding to support our communities. Our most difficult problems are resolved by compromise, not conflict.
This lesson really hit home for me in mid-May, when I was fortunate to welcome President Joe Biden to a Kankakee-area farm. We talked about the difficulties soaring inflation is causing our farming community: rising input costs, high fuel costs, food supply challenges, all fueled by the conflict in Ukraine and the pandemic.
The president and I agreed in our conversation any solution will not come from political infighting, but from bringing together our nation’s leaders for a comprehensive approach. We need consensus, and we need it now.
I have been proud to show the 40th Senate District the rewards of consensus building over these past few weeks.
Our new state budget – balanced, holding the line on taxes and earning Illinois positive marks from bond rating agencies – includes the strongest investment in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in two decades. This will allow IDNR to, starting this summer, offer $56 million in grants to help communities build public parks and open spaces, hire more staff, continue renovations at parks and resorts and support the work of conservation police officers.
I helped secure needed funds to improve the Technology Center at Kankakee Community College, and recently joined other community leaders there to talk about the importance of working together to make the investment.
A few days later, I joined Congresswoman Robin Kelly in Pembroke Township to announce $3 million in funding for broadband for this underserved area – a key priority of my ongoing work in Springfield to make sure all have access to high-speed internet.
Our teacher shortage in Illinois is a real crisis, and it has only become worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. But I have worked with Democratic and Republican legislators on a series of bills to help take the problem head on, and our work will continue together.
The Clove Alliance provides critical help to victims of sexual abuse and violence. I joined the group earlier in May to raise awareness and celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Kankakee.
Add in recent visits with seniors in Rich Township, and a great discussion with Prairie State College President Dr. Michael Anthony, and it has been a busy time making connections. This is why I decided to get into public service, to jump in and help people address real problems – without the nasty rhetoric and fingerpointing.
Look for more in the coming months on my local visits and ways we are working to deliver for the Southland. I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at https://ift.tt/7kCFATq. I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page: https://ift.tt/1QjIVvD.
Sen. Patrick Joyce
D-Essex, 40th State Senate District
OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (May 2022)
via The Southland Journal
May 28, 2022 at 08:22AM