Lawmakers Sound Off on CPS, AFSCME Standstill

by Hunter Clauss

Republican state lawmakers plan to unveil legislation on Wednesday that would take away mayoral control from the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools, as reported by “Chicago Tonight’s” Paris Schutz.

The plan would create an emergency board to oversee the cash-strapped school district. It would also allow the district to declare bankruptcy and creates an elected school board once it’s fiscally on solid ground.

This all comes as the district could announce any day now the layoffs of thousands of teachers. It also comes as a political stalemate in Springfield has prevented lawmakers from passing a budget for more than six months.

[Sources: Lawmakers to Introduce Legislation Allowing Bankruptcy, Oversight for City and CPS]

Furthermore, contract talks with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the state’s largest union, grew increasingly sour last week when Gov. Bruce Rauner asked the state’s labor board to step in, a move that makes a strike a greater possibility.

Joining us to talk about these issues and more are Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights), Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) and Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside).

When asked whether they had been briefed on or heard about Gov. Rauner’s plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday – aside from Paris Schutz’ reporting on the story – everyone said no.

“I think they want to keep a tight hold on this until tomorrow if indeed they’re going to do that,” said Harris.

“When you talk about an oversight board for the city of Chicago, that’s pretty dramatic,” he added. “But it takes legislative action to make it happen. I do support an elected school board for the city of Chicago.”

“This conversation could have been averted, had we been in Springfield as consistently as we possibly can,” said Dunkin. “We should be there right now, talking about how it is that we can avoid this calamitous discussion of laying off [teachers] and closing our schools.”

“Yes, there needs to be reform in Chicago,” said McSweeney. “President Cullerton has been very constructive on this point. But we also need to make sure we’re focusing on the real issue, a state budget. I’m very concerned about legislation to allow bankruptcy. That could actually drive up the borrowing costs for the city; we borrowed money for the state last week at a record-setting spread. I’m also concerned that it could promote risky behavior.”

“The problem with municipal bankruptcy bills is that the creditors and the lawyers get paid first,” said Zalewski. “The House Democratic caucus position is that the money should be going into the classrooms.”

Read the article and watch the video for the full discussion at WTTW TV – Chicago Tonight.

McSweeney receives second Republican Endorsement: Cuba Township Republicans

Cuba Township RepublicansBarrington Township: Candidate for State Representative in the 52nd District, David McSweeney, has received the endorsement of the Cuba Township Republican organization. The endorsement marks the second such endorsement after the Wauconda Township organization endorsed McSweeney on Thursday.

“I am proud to receive the support of the Cuba Township Republicans. They are a hard working group of Precinct Committeemen dedicated to electing Republicans who will carry the fight to Springfield. I will not disappoint them. I will go to Springfield and fight to repeal the 67% tax increase and focus my efforts on making Illinois a job creation and business friendly state,” said McSweeney.

“We’re counting on David to be a fighter in Springfield for lower taxes and real reform”, Said Bruce Sauer Cuba Township Republican Chairman. “This endorsement by rank and file Republicans is important. Their confidence strengthens my resolve and I will count on their advice and support throughout my campaign and when I am elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. Reform of our fiscal house starts here in the 52nd District,” said McSweeney.

Wauconda Republicans Endorse David McSweeney

Wauconda Township Republican Club Endorses McSweeney
The Wauconda Township Republican Organization has announced their official endorsement of David McSweeney’s campaign for State Representative in the 52nd District. McSweeney was chosen in a vote of the rank and file members of the club.

“We’re proud to endorse David McSweeney. He is a dynamic leader who will fight for lower taxes and real reform in Springfield,” said Bob Gottardo, Chairman of the Wauconda Township Republican Club.

McSweeney has attended a number of events in the Wauconda area and has been received well with his message of cutting taxes and spending in Springfield. His top priority is to repeal the 67% increase in the state income tax that is killing jobs in Illinois. In addition, McSweeney has supported stopping property tax increases when property values are going down. The legislature in Springfield failed to approve bipartisan legislation providing tax relief to property owners.

“I am very proud to have the endorsement of the Wauconda Township Republican Club. These are the people who are in the trenches carrying the Republican banner and I look forward to working with them in the campaign and when I get to the legislature. I will be a fiscal hawk cutting taxes and spending and making sure that property tax payers get relief,” said McSweeney.

Leading by Example

legislative pensions

“These are part-time jobs. This is public service. Why should legislators build a retirement out of them?”
-Daily Herald, 1/29/11

Leadership by Example, An Agenda of Real Reform, Real Change

Conservative Businessman David McSweeney

Setting the Example

With a base salary of nearly $68,000, Illinois state representatives and senators earn the 5th highest legislator salary in the country.*

“End pensions for Illinois legislators”
-Daily Herald, 1/29/11

“These are part-time jobs. This is public service. Why should legislators build a retirement our of them? At a time when the state budget must take severe cuts, legislative pensions ought to be one of the cuts on the table.”

David McSweeney believes government must start tightening its belt – with legislators leading by example and cutting their own budgets first. McSweeney supports a repsonsible reform agenda that will rein in legislator salaries and end their pensions, beginning with his own.

The McSweeney Reform Agenda:

  • Eliminate legislator pensions
  • Cut legislative salaries by 10%
  • Eliminate wasteful taxpayer funded mailings
  • Cut the administrative budget of the legislature by 10%
  • Prohibit the use of legislative staff for campaign work
  • End special legislative scholarships

“We can’t tell taxpayers to tighten their belts without the legislators setting the example. As your State Representative, I will not accept a pension and I will push for a 10% pay cut. Keep in mind that the legislature is only in session for part of the year.”
-David McSweeney

Real Experience. Real Change.

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