Daily Archive : Tuesday June 28, 2016

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    From left, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton at the governor’s State of the State speech in January.

    Editorial: Enough! Time for leaders, lawmakers to quit the politics and produce a budget

    A Daily Herald editorial says citizens are fed up with Illinois lawmakers, legislative leaders and the governor and insists they all quit playing political games and produce a workable state budget.

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    Slusher: About Wednesday’s front-page editorial

    Columnist Jim Slusher: We are adding our editorial voice to the voices of some 25 top daily newspapers across the state that adopted an idea suggested by Springfield Journal-Register executive editor Angie Muhs in order, in her words, “to amplify this cry for sanity on behalf of Illinois’ citizens.”

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    State Rep. Christian Mitchell

    Setting the record straight on education funding

    We were not surprised when we saw Gov. Rauner’s editorial on June 22, once again admonishing Democrats for trying to fix a broken and outdated education funding system that has been in place since 1997. He likes to say that it was “our” formula and that we are only trying now to fix it because we want to bail out Chicago Public Schools. This is the same CPS that the governor has said made him cry because of the terrible conditions the students are learning in. The schools he called “crumbling prisons.” You know how to fix that? Improving education funding. And this is not just a Chicago problem. The truth is, CPS is no different from any other school district that has been hurt by years of cuts under an inequitable education funding system. The governor is trying to pit school districts across the state against one another, but they are not falling for that tactic. Equitable school funding is not a “Chicago bailout” any more than it is a Taylorville bailout, Peoria bailout, East Moline bailout, or Harrisburg bailout. Districts across the state are united, not divided, over this issue, and the Governor’s rhetoric will not change that. They want him to be the governor for the entire state, and that includes high-need school districts like Elgin, Pana, Aurora, East St. Louis, Vandalia, Sandoval, and — yes — Chicago. The good news is that reasonable, fair solutions are being offered. The best solution on the table is Senate Bill 231 that passed the Senate and was not called in the House. It does those things that Gov. Rauner is touting about his proposal — ends proration, holds all districts harmless — while also fixing the formula used to distribute state education money so districts with the highest need get the most resources. The governor wants to pour more money into our broken education funding system, like pouring more water into a leaky bucket. That makes no sense and is not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars. We need an equitable solution to our K-12 funding situation, and we need a long-term solution instead of a series of band-aids. There is agreement on both sides of the aisle that our school funding formula needs reform. This is the very opposite of the “lack of consensus” citing by the governor. Illinois ranks dead last in the nation in education funding. This is an undisputed fact. We need to move forward with real reform and a long-term structural solution to education funding.A bipartisan funding formula fix like SB231 is an equitable and permanent solution for all districts that bucks the status quo. All districts would operate under the same formula and Illinois will finally have the solution we need to distribute state education dollars fairly to every corner of the state. The fates of Chicago and Peoria and other cities and towns around the state have important impacts for suburban families. Every student, regardless of where they are born, ought to have access to a 21st century education in a safe, modern facility. One of those students might be the next great innovator whose ideas create a new wave of Illinois jobs. One of those students might manage a farm that supplies food or goods to trade. Each student who transitions from school to career will pay taxes that go toward the roads and bridges and services that we all rely upon. It’s time for Gov. Rauner to recognize that he represents the entire state and commit to real education funding reform that ensures Illinois’ future.State Rep. Christian Mitchell is a Democrat from Chicago. State State Sen. Andy Manar is a Democrat from Bunker Hill.

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    Venezuela a good lesson for U.S.
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: The Daily Herald and the press did a good job reporting on the devastating long term effects of socialism on Venezuela recently. Remember when Venezuelan leaders threw out capitalism and nationalized businesses.

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    Just a brief addition to 2nd Amendment
    A Campton Hills letter to the editor: The Second Amendment to our Constitution is more than 200 years old and, in my humble opinion, is long overdue for some badly needed changes.

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    People have spoken on Trump
    A Volo letter to the editor: It’s time for the “never Trumpers” — including Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz — to put on their big boy pants and support the candidate that was selected by the people.

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    No action again on guns
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: The United States Congress once again did not stop the sales of automatic weapons and oversized magazines.

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    Private interests can help protect wildlife
    Thank you for the editorial “Give bees, turtles and butterflies a helping hand.” Those three species in peril have received a lot of deserved attention lately in our area. As the article says, these species literally live in our back yards, and there are many things Lake County residents can do to help them, and a whole host of other species that depend on the same types of habitats. Lake County is the most ecologically diverse county in Illinois and home to several threatened and endangered species. Positioned just outside of a world-class city on the shore of one of the planet’s largest freshwater lakes, and at the merger of the tallgrass prairie and eastern deciduous forest, Lake County is rich in community and natural resources. The 30,000 acres of county forest preserves, as grand and beautiful as they are, are neither big enough nor connected enough for all of the natural systems to work at their optimal level for the benefit of people and wildlife.Attainable steps can be taken on privately held properties such as individual yards and homeowner associations to not only help reconnect the natural systems, but to reconnect people with nature. Conserve Lake County is here to facilitate that.Conserve Lake County is a 20-year-old 501(c)3 nonprofit that works throughout the county to foster healthy land for better lives. Through the award-winning Conservation Home program, it assists people countywide in implementing conservation-friendly actions. Conserve Lake County also leads and assists with landscape-scale planning efforts. Dave Neu, Executive DirectorConserve Lake CountyGrayslake

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    Today’s Opinion Page editorial cartoon
    Today’s Daily Herald Opinion page editorial cartoon

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