Friday, July 23, 2004

Letter to the editor in Sun-Times; budget is finally moving

I had a letter in Thursday's Sun-Times here, which reads:

Citizen pain

One quibble with Cindy Richards' column trashing the Five Tops negotiating public policy behind closed doors and expecting the other 173 legislators to simply ratify the massive agreement without public debate or scrutiny: She identifies ''us, the taxpayers'' as the big loser. I'd suggest we lose more as citizens than taxpayers. We citizens shape public policy, demand transparency and are now shut out of our own state Legislature. We taxpayers (some of whom, like corporations, aren't citizens) just foot the bill.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger,
Near North Side

(I didn't come up with that cute headline).

I think the budget agreement has been introduced and the General Assembly is in session today and tomorrow and expected to pass the budget by Sunday. Three days isn't enough time to get a good budget. This should have started in January, with single-agency budgets and move through the regular legislative process (committee hearings, committee amendments, etc.).

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