Big picture, Local focus

Big picture, Local focus

Posted by JP on Sun, 05/18/2008 - 22:02

Last week, we – Amber Krosel, Nick Shields and myself – set out to talk to every lawmaker from the Daily Herald’s circulation area. By week’s end we’d touched base with almost everyone. More than 40 interviews later, they’d painted a fairly, but not completely, gloomy picture of getting done on time with a balanced spending plan for the next state budget year, which begins July 1.

A tally of the lawmakers’ quotes can be found here.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=193073&src=109

But if you want to know what those representing your specific part of the suburbs said, below is a lengthy list broken down by those representing Cook, Lake and DuPage counties along with the Fox Valley.

Yes, some lawmakers show up more than once because their districts cross county lines.

The question - or some general form of it – that we put to members was this: How do we get out of this session?

Cook County

"Compromise, with a capital C ... We have no choice. We have to come up with compromise ... I think it's going to be slim pickings." - State Sen. Susan Garrett, a Lake Forest Democrat

"I think there are reasons for all three (Democratic leaders) to not want legislators down here all summer. And if they can agree on kind of a maintenance budget that doesn't really do anything new, just gets us through this year and maybe only half of next ... I think it would be in all of their interests to do that. And whenever all their interests align we have a shot." - State Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican

"They (Democrats) are not letting us participate in the process. If we don't have any say ... why should we support it?" - State Rep. Mark Beaubien Jr., a Barrington Hills Republican

"I've never been so frustrated. This is nuts. It has to do, I'm sorry to say, with egos and testosterone. If these were my sons I would definitely call for a time out." - State Rep. Suzie Bassi, a Rolling Meadows Republican

"I wish that I knew. I hope that something will go bump in the night and a plan will come together." - State Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat

"Both houses need to come up with a budget and both pass the same version ... sounds like senators don't want to spend another summer down here either." - State Rep. Paul Froehlich, a Schaumburg Democrat

"We don't have to play the game. We're not part of the feud between the Speaker, the Senate president and the governor ... There's no plan. We have no plan because we're not allowed." - State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, a Des Plaines Republican

"Has this session ever ended? I don't see it ending anytime soon." - State Rep. Randy Ramey, a Carol Stream Republican

"I don't know if the rank-and-file members are that organized to tell the leaders 'we're not voting on any budget until we get capital ... These budgets are going to go back and forth; neither of them are going to be balanced budgets. We're not comfortable sending a budget to the Senate that doesn't have the revenue to support it." - State Rep. Angelo "Skip" Saviano, an Elmwood Park Republican

"I'm hoping that we find the golden boy in the basement of the state Capitol locked away. I have no idea what we can do." - State Sen. John Millner, a Carol Stream Republican

"We can avoid another long summer session. Hopefully, the parties will come together and get done what needs to be done - passing a budget, passing a capital plan." - State Rep. Ruth Munson, an Elgin Republican

"I do not want something that's thrown together. I do not want something that's just thrown out there to vote on and it does bother me. We owe the people of Illinois so much more." - State Rep. Carolyn Krause, a Mount Prospect Republican

"I mean, when I'm out at home, clearly voters are fed up with the gridlock here and I've delivered that message to leadership as it's been communicated to me. I hope that means we can all come together and get a budget done." - State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat

"The general commitment from our caucus is to make as much progress as we possibly can on the budget. And to get out of here as quickly as we can so we can get back and serve our constituents and continue to do our jobs in the areas that we represent." - State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat

"One of the biggest concerns is the governor. There's a lack of trust. There needs to be a mechanism in place, if we do pass a capital plan, so that he wont be able to control the funding and play favorites, which he has done so far." -
State Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat

Lake County

"If we stayed overtime and really came up with a solution, that's one thing. But when we stay in overtime and it leads to no good result, we can't leave people hanging that way. It does a disservice and diminishes our credibility, as it should. We know what our deadline is." - State Rep. Kathleen Ryg, a Vernon Hills Democrat

"I think the governor learned his lesson not to have the special sessions. If it does go to overtime it'll be a very short overtime." - State Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat

"They (Democrats) are not letting us participate in the process. If we don't have any say ... why should we support it?" - State Rep. Mark Beaubien Jr., a Barrington Hills Republican

"From a woman's standpoint, I'd like to see the guys get together and just really hammer this out. We're observers and the pettiness, the king of the hill kind of thing, it's just got to stop. But, it's politics." - State Rep. Sandy Cole, a Grayslake Republican

"Hopefully, we won't go into overtime. I think rational people can sit down and come together on a budget. It's not going to be the best budget but it's going to be the best we can do under the circumstances. It can be done, hypothetically. Will it be done? Politics are very interesting and things can turn on a dime." - State Sen. William Peterson, a Long Grove Republican

"I don't think it's healthy for any of us to stay here another summer. I think that we need to get out and clear our minds and go back and listen to the people." - State Rep. JoAnn Osmond, an Antioch Republican

"I'm prepared to stay here, day and night, until the end of the regular session to get it done so we do not have a repeat of last year." - State Sen. Michael Bond, a Grayslake Democrat

"Compromise, with a capital C ... We have no choice. We have to come up with compromise ... I think it's going to be slim pickings." - State Sen. Susan Garrett, a Lake Forest Democrat

DuPage County

"I think you see the oxygen being sucked out of this place every day by members who are not doing anything. We've got goofy amendments being put on all over, or taken off, I mean we have lost about all hope that any common sense is going to prevail." - State Rep. Brent Hassert, Romeoville Republican

"I don't think it's rocket science that if these guys won't talk to each other and if they're not going to sit down and meet, we're not going to get out of here on time." - State Rep. Franco Coladipietro, a Bloomingdale Republican

"I didn't think matters could get much worse after last year's session. Although it's been quieter this year, I don't think it's any less dysfunctional. I think the personal animosities, the outrageous conduct behind doors continues, and I think that the voters should throw out every Democrat that's on the ballot this November." - State Sen. Dan Cronin, an Elmhurst Republican

"Both houses need to come up with a budget and both pass the same version ... sounds like senators don't want to spend another summer down here either." - State Rep. Paul Froehlich, a Schaumburg Democrat

"It's like little kids fighting in a sandbox ... I'm not exactly sure how this is all gonna end, I just hope it does at some point in time." - State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, an Elmhurst Republican

"Until the Democrats start talking to one another, they are not going to put together an agenda or a budget that's going to move the state forward. We're back in the same old gridlock that we were in last year." - State Rep. Jim Meyer, a Naperville Republican

"If we do not complete a budget by the end of May, we'll have to be back at some point. Illinois can't run without a budget ... whether we're called back one or two days a week or seven days a week, we really won't know." - State Rep. Mike Fortner, a West Chicago Republican

"Has this session ever ended? I don't see it ending anytime soon." - State Rep. Randy Ramey, a Carol Stream Republican

"I'm hoping that we find the golden boy in the basement of the state Capitol locked away. I have no idea what we can do." - State Sen. John Millner, a Carol Stream Republican

"It's anybody's guess because under this regime, nothing's predictable -- other than they don't like one another." - State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican

"There has to be some level of trust that what they say they're actually going to do. And I think that's probably the biggest roadblock right now. None of the leaders trust each other because all last year, in one way or another, they stabbed each other in the back." - State Sen. Carole Pankau, a Roselle Republican

"It's looking discouraging just between the continuing ego battles between the governor and Speaker and Senate president. So, somehow there needs to be some miraculous healing of those relationships, I think, in order for this to be pulled off in the next two weeks. I think the other option would be a strong enough uprising among rank and file legislators who say 'we're not going to put up with this. This is a disservice to the state. It's expensive for us to stay in overtime. Let's get this done or there's going to be consequences to our leadership.'" - State Sen. Randall Hultgren, a Winfield Republican

"There's nothing happening here now. Nothing of significance is moving at all with the great dysfunction of Springfield today." - State Rep. Joe Dunn, a Naperville Republican

"I'm certainly hoping we don't have a repeat of last summer. And I think at this point the lesson learned from last summer is that we don't want to do that again and I think cooler heads will hopefully prevail and we will ultimately pass a budget on time like we're supposed to do." - State Sen. Linda Holmes, an Aurora Democrat

"There's always obstacles in this climate. Having said that, I'm confident we can put those issues aside and get focused and have a budget that we can all support." - State Sen. Arthur “AJ” Wilhelmi, a Joliet Democrat

Fox Valley

"Unless there is some climate of communication and cooperation at the end, I don't know how we will get out ... but I basically don't think anyone is interested in repeating last summer." - State Rep. Patricia Reid Lindner, an Aurora Republican

"I'm sure we'll be back ... In the House we're going to do what we need to do to get out of here on time." - State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, an Aurora Democrat

"I didn't think we were going to have one last year. An overtime session, in my view, it's a failure of the party that's in control." - State Rep. Timothy Schmitz, a Batavia Republican

"I've learned since I've been down here that leadership tends to kind of work around the punctuated, pressure point in time, if you will. I'm going to guess that it will probably come up to a day or two prior to the deadline of the 31st. We'll have some sort of budget proposed by each chamber." - State Sen. Michael Noland, an Elgin Democrat

"If we do not complete a budget by the end of May, we'll have to be back at some point. Illinois can't run without a budget ... whether we're called back one or two days a week or seven days a week, we really won't know." - State Rep. Mike Fortner, a West Chicago Republican

"Has this session ever ended? I don't see it ending anytime soon." - State Rep. Randy Ramey, a Carol Stream Republican

"They (Democrats) are not letting us participate in the process. If we don't have any say ... why should we support it?" - State Rep. Mark Beaubien, a Barrington Hills Republican

"I'm hoping that we find the golden boy in the basement of the state Capitol locked away. I have no idea what we can do." - State Sen. John Millner, a Carol Stream Republican

"I'm not optimistic that we're going to end on time, but I think it can be done ... We can come back for a capital bill next month, or November, whenever, but our first priority is the budget and to link the two is unfair and is a way that is going to keep us here for a long, long time." - State Rep. Jack Franks, a Woodstock Democrat

"We can avoid another long summer session. Hopefully, the parties will come together and get done what needs to be done - passing a budget, passing a capital plan." - State Rep. Ruth Munson, an Elgin Republican

"It's looking discouraging just between the continuing ego battles between the governor and Speaker and Senate president. So, somehow there needs to be some miraculous healing of those relationships, I think, in order for this to be pulled off in the next two weeks. I think the other option would be a strong enough uprising among rank and file legislators who say 'we're not going to put up with this. This is disservice to the state. It's expensive for us to stay in overtime. Let's get this done or there's going to be consequences to our leadership.'" - State Sen. Randall Hultgren, a Winfield Republican

"Hopefully, we won't go into overtime. I think rational people can sit down and come together on a budget. It's not going to be the best budget but it's going to be the best we can do under the circumstances. It can be done, hypothetically. Will it be done? Politics are very interesting and things can turn on a dime." - State Sen. William Peterson, a Long Grove Republican

"Because we have to have a chest-beating contest between the Senate president, the Speaker of the House and the governor, all Illinois has to suffer from the lack of a capital bill and that's wrong. And I hear it when I go home. I hear it when I come to Springfield. I see it by the fact that our roads are in disrepair." - State Rep. Michael Tryon, a Crystal Lake Republican

"I'm certainly hoping we don't have a repeat of last summer. And I think at this point the lesson learned from last summer is that we don't want to do that again and I think cooler heads will hopefully prevail and we will ultimately pass a budget on time like we're supposed to do." - State Sen. Linda Holmes, an Aurora Democrat

“I think they (Democrats) want to tuck their tail between their legs and run out of town as quickly as they can.” – state Sen. Chris Lauzen, an Aurora Republican.

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