Springfield, IL – How many constituents actually know who, what, or where the Illinois lawmakers are, and more importantly, what they stand for? The legal voting age in Illinois is 18 years of age. The spectrum of why one votes varies from it being their civic duty, others just because they can, some because they believe in a cause, and many because they have been told that it is the right thing to do. So the question of who to vote for becomes even more daunting for many – there are the local elections, the statewide elections, and then of course the presidency. You are taught that local politics is what affects your day-to-day living, so that brings forth the question of what do the rest of them do, and why should you care.
So, what do those on the state level do besides spend tax dollars on fighting for their own paychecks – the state legislature has the power to make laws and impeach judges. Lawmakers must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of the district in which they serve for at least two years.
The Illinois House of Representatives meets at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. It is required to convene on the second Wednesday of January each year. Along with the Illinois Senate and governor, it is vested with the power to make laws, come up with a state budget, act on federal constitutional amendments, and propose constitutional amendments to the state constitution. The Illinois House of Representatives also holds the power to impeach executive and judicial officials. Supposedly members of the House cannot hold other public offices or receive appointments by the governor while in office.
Now there are 118 seats at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Illinois that are supposed to be making decisions in the betterment of all Illinoisans. So what is going on / wrong – The current Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives is Michael Madigan of Chicago, who represents the 22nd district. Okay ask yourself, of the 118 seats who do you know (one seat is currently vacant for some reason) – there are 70 democrats, and 47 republicans. The pop quiz is which district do you reside, and who are your elected representatives there in Springfield, Illinois?
Point being far too many have no clue who is representing whom – however, in a city, and State where they are laying off those in the most needed profession, school teachers, and the Metra train scandals, and what is all of this fuss about pension reform, the grand standing in reference to a third airport coming to the far south suburban region, and who is being appointed , or resigning to what board, all of this pales in comparison to those elected officials (who most voters do not know them) is spending taxpayer funds suing for their right to be paid whether they get the job done of not.
Should these duly elected State officials be paid for a “job not done?” is a debate that you can continue to have around the water cooler while at your job on today, and tomorrow, but more importantly, how do they continue to look their paycheck payer (Illinois constituents) in the face, and justify their being paid whether they actually do the job that has been entrusted to them. Oh that is right, they know that many of you do not even know who they are, or what it is that they are being trusted to do.
And you have to give it to Governor Quinn, just when the voters of Illinois have decided to throw in the towel on his weak leadership style, the governor has been stepping up to the leadership podium of late: withholding the pay of those elected officials, signing legislation to get that third airport underway, the DePaul arena as well, the construction jobs from correcting the circle on expressway, and his list continues. So is Quinn a “Johnny comes lately,” or just a shrewd politician that know how to play the game with the best of them; Plaintiffs John J. Cullerton, and Michael J. Madigan.