The upcoming elections seem to be distracting lawmakers across the board from doing what they were elected to do in Illinois.
Some say we need a tax hike, but the same people won't vote for it because it's politically unpopular. Many are predicting that when lawmakers do get around to making some sort of budget decision, it will be a temporary solution to get the state past the November elections.
Meanwhile, those who feel they deserve a leadership roll in the state are skipping out on their duties while campaigning.
The Daily Herald reports that Republican nominee for governor (and Bloomington state senator) Bill Brady has missed more than 200 votes in the last few weeks of the legislative session:
Hundreds of roll call votes from the hectic two-week period covering late April and early May are riddled with Brady omissions. The Bloomington state senator missed 207 votes during that period and cast 239.
For instance, Brady, who's campaigned heavily against taxes, missed a rare chance to actually end a tax. He's not recorded as voting on a proposal to do away with the sales tax imposed by the DuPage Water Commission. That proposal is now in Quinn's hands.
"I'm balancing what I'm supposed to be doing. My responsibilities as a senator, I think, are being fulfilled," Brady told the Herald.
The paper reports that Brady's Twitter account shows him at various speaking engagements while the Senate was in session, and NBC reporter saw him in Chicago during another session:
If his responsibilities as a senator include lunching on the sidewalk outside a downtown Chicago restaurant while the senate is in session, then, yes, they were being fulfilled. On May 3, I saw Brady outside 312 on LaSalle Street. I know it was him because I shouted "Bill Brady!" and he waved back.
Gov. Quinn's attendance record is not much better. The Herald reports:
Quinn's time was split between Chicago and Springfield, according to his government schedule obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
Some lawmakers have criticized Quinn and said he needed to take a more active leadership role with budget talks. After a recent closed-door meeting with House Democrats, Marengo state Rep. Jack Franks quipped, "It's nice of the governor to show."
Meanwhile, Illinoisans are sick of talk and ready for lawmakers to take action, especially when it comes to the state budget. Perhaps those running for new offices in November should swap their opponent-bashing time with some actual...work.