Phillips calls out Democratic leaders for skipping out of budget meeting
A week after being re-elected to the Illinois House in District 110, Rep. Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) is calling out the Illinois Democratic leadership for their absence at a budget meeting called by Gov. Bruce Rauner in the hopes of jump-starting talks on a budget compromise for the state.
This week, Phillips criticized House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), saying they failed to show up and do the job they were just elected to perform.
“Illinois has the fifth highest tax burden in the country, second highest overall debt and our job growth has to be a top priority in this state, but we cannot have a budget without both parties at the table,” Phillips said in a recent news release.
“We must have a balanced budget for the good of our communities,” Phillips said. “There are programs in Illinois that need to be funded and Speaker Madigan is choosing to ignore the people of Illinois. It’s time we do our jobs, balance a budget and provide some economic stability to our social services, education system and the people of Illinois,” he said.
Phillips also posted a statement on his Facebook page criticizing the House speaker. “In a time when we need to come together as legislators and balance our budget, Madigan continues to put politics above people,” the post said.
Rauner called the budget meeting just days after the election, but he received word from Madigan’s office the day prior to the meeting that Madigan would be unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. Soon after, Cullerton also declined to attend the meeting, stating it would be unproductive without everyone’s attendance.
Throughout his campaign, Phillips held several town hall meetings, all which had large attendance and focused mainly on the state’s budget crisis. After a stopgap budget passed in summer, Phillips dedicated one town hall to discussing the specifics of the temporary budget, particularly the funding for Eastern Illinois University (EIU), which is located in his district.
Phillips, who was first elected in 2014, also spent much of his re-election campaign vowing to take on the Democratic majority in Springfield. He was critical of what he called Madigan’s “political games,” particularly after Madigan’s cancellation of the Illinois General Assembly in June.
One of Phillips’ major campaign promises was to continue his fight in Springfield for higher education funding. He also emphasized to voters that he would work toward a balanced budget, lower property taxes and build a stronger economy for the state.
The Illinois General Assembly goes back into session this week for a veto session and also will meet the week after the Thanksgiving holiday. There are six session days scheduled for the remainder of the year.
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