Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

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SPRINGFIELD — Minutes after state Sen. Toi Hutchinson helped to pass a controversial revenue bill that was met with major Republican resistance, she was inundated with harsh words on her Facebook page.

“No more takes [sic] you dirt bags stop screwing the taxpayers!!!!!!!!” one Facebook user wrote.

“How dare you raise my taxes in this corrupt state. You are ruining people’s lives with your tax and spend ways. I literally hate you,” another person wrote.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

Illinois lawmakers — many of whom face uncertain re-election possibilities next year — are being inundated by comments, insults and suggestions as the clock ticks toward the end of the legislative session amid a historic and politically driven budget impasse that’s left the state in the lurch.

State universities and social service agencies haven’t received funds since Jan. 1 when a partial budget expired.

Lawmakers say constituents are amping up the pressure to stop the bleeding.

“People are so angry. And if they’re not impacted by any of the hard stuff, they zero in on the things that they hate the most. It’s in the midst of the environment that we’re in. It’s the . . . trash comments and the people who try to hijack my Facebook page,” Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, said. “Go to my state Facebook page. Just take a look. It is cruel, absolutely cruel.”

Hutchinson said she receives “constant” calls about MAP college grants. She represents Governors State University, Kankakee Community College and Prairie State College.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

“Not only did the lack of MAP grants wreak havoc over these institutions, but I can’t tell you how many calls I get from people who say ‘I can’t finish this semester,’” Hutchinson said.

In Democratic State Sen. Heather Stean’s 7th district, which encompasses North Side and Northwest Side Chicago neighborhoods, a non-profit plans in June to close some of its facilities that help take care of people with disabilities and mental-health issues if there’s no budget. Another organization which helps to provide shelter for domestic-violence victims called to tell her they’re planning layoffs because they haven’t been able to pay employees all year.

Despite this, Steans says her constituents aren’t paying attention to the barbs being thrown in the political war between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. They just care about the results of it.

“I think people are really frustrated and fed up and to some extent don’t even know what to do with the fact that we don’t have a budget. I don’t think they want to hear about the pointing and blaming. They want us to all step up and do our job,” Steans said.

State Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Westmont, says his constituents are largely calling, emailing and stopping by to complain about their property taxes.

“Nobody is happy. The constituents I represent, they don’t care about scoring political points and so they don’t think it’s good when you make a good argument or when we really stick it to the speaker or the Democrats,” Nybo said. “They just want to see things get done. They’re practical people. . . . I don’t think they’re going to put up with it anymore.”

At baseball, games, hockey games, and when he’s dropping his kids off to school, State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, D- Chicago, said he’s hearing it all.

“They’re telling me how desperate they are, in my suburban areas as well as the city. They’re at wits’ ends. They don’t know what else to do,” McAuliffe said.

Constituents are asking for cuts, not new taxes, McAuliffe says. And many on fixed incomes are worrying if they’ll lose their homes: “Someone who lives in the city of Chicago, last year they saw their water rates go up. They saw a garbage tax. Everywhere you look there’s a new tax. And they’re squeezed all the way to the end.”

State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, says he’s getting an earful, too.

“People don’t understand why we’re not funding social-service agencies and higher education,” McSweeney said, adding he’s receiving calls about the Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry County. “There is no good explanation.”

He’s also hearing complaints from school superintendents worried about whether their schools will be properly funded. And they ask some political questions too.

“People ask me, ‘Why hasn’t the governor been meeting with the leaders?’” McSweeney said. “I don’t have a good answer.”

House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, D-Skokie, says he’s getting calls from parents of high school students asking whether they should send their kids to an Illinois school or out-of-state.

“It’s hard to give them an answer when we treat higher education the way that we do,” Lang said.

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May 26, 2017 at 12:21PM

Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

http://ift.tt/2rHMIyc

SPRINGFIELD — Minutes after state Sen. Toi Hutchinson helped to pass a controversial revenue bill that was met with major Republican resistance, she was inundated with harsh words on her Facebook page.

“No more takes [sic] you dirt bags stop screwing the taxpayers!!!!!!!!” one Facebook user wrote.

“How dare you raise my taxes in this corrupt state. You are ruining people’s lives with your tax and spend ways. I literally hate you,” another person wrote.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

Illinois lawmakers — many of whom face uncertain re-election possibilities next year — are being inundated by comments, insults and suggestions as the clock ticks toward the end of the legislative session amid a historic and politically driven budget impasse that’s left the state in the lurch.

State universities and social service agencies haven’t received funds since Jan. 1 when a partial budget expired.

Lawmakers say constituents are amping up the pressure to stop the bleeding.

“People are so angry. And if they’re not impacted by any of the hard stuff, they zero in on the things that they hate the most. It’s in the midst of the environment that we’re in. It’s the . . . trash comments and the people who try to hijack my Facebook page,” Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, said. “Go to my state Facebook page. Just take a look. It is cruel, absolutely cruel.”

Hutchinson said she receives “constant” calls about MAP college grants. She represents Governors State University, Kankakee Community College and Prairie State College.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

“Not only did the lack of MAP grants wreak havoc over these institutions, but I can’t tell you how many calls I get from people who say ‘I can’t finish this semester,’” Hutchinson said.

In Democratic State Sen. Heather Stean’s 7th district, which encompasses North Side and Northwest Side Chicago neighborhoods, a non-profit plans in June to close some of its facilities that help take care of people with disabilities and mental-health issues if there’s no budget. Another organization which helps to provide shelter for domestic-violence victims called to tell her they’re planning layoffs because they haven’t been able to pay employees all year.

Despite this, Steans says her constituents aren’t paying attention to the barbs being thrown in the political war between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. They just care about the results of it.

“I think people are really frustrated and fed up and to some extent don’t even know what to do with the fact that we don’t have a budget. I don’t think they want to hear about the pointing and blaming. They want us to all step up and do our job,” Steans said.

State Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Westmont, says his constituents are largely calling, emailing and stopping by to complain about their property taxes.

“Nobody is happy. The constituents I represent, they don’t care about scoring political points and so they don’t think it’s good when you make a good argument or when we really stick it to the speaker or the Democrats,” Nybo said. “They just want to see things get done. They’re practical people. . . . I don’t think they’re going to put up with it anymore.”

At baseball, games, hockey games, and when he’s dropping his kids off to school, State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, D- Chicago, said he’s hearing it all.

“They’re telling me how desperate they are, in my suburban areas as well as the city. They’re at wits’ ends. They don’t know what else to do,” McAuliffe said.

Constituents are asking for cuts, not new taxes, McAuliffe says. And many on fixed incomes are worrying if they’ll lose their homes: “Someone who lives in the city of Chicago, last year they saw their water rates go up. They saw a garbage tax. Everywhere you look there’s a new tax. And they’re squeezed all the way to the end.”

State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, says he’s getting an earful, too.

“People don’t understand why we’re not funding social-service agencies and higher education,” McSweeney said, adding he’s receiving calls about the Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry County. “There is no good explanation.”

He’s also hearing complaints from school superintendents worried about whether their schools will be properly funded. And they ask some political questions too.

“People ask me, ‘Why hasn’t the governor been meeting with the leaders?’” McSweeney said. “I don’t have a good answer.”

House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, D-Skokie, says he’s getting calls from parents of high school students asking whether they should send their kids to an Illinois school or out-of-state.

“It’s hard to give them an answer when we treat higher education the way that we do,” Lang said.

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May 26, 2017 at 12:21PM

Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

Candidate interviews begin in search for new president

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Shawnee Community College on March 10 released the names of four candidates to be interviewed for the college president position.

The college’s presidential search committee, with approval of Shawnee Community College’s Board of Trustees, selected Brian Chapman, Brian Van Horn, Peggy Bradford and Deborah Garrett as the candidates to be interviewed for the college president position.

Interviews were scheduled to begin Monday, March 13, with candidate Brian Chapman. An open forum for SCC students, alumni and residents of the college district was planned March 13 at the college.

The second candidate to be interviewed was Brian Van Horn. Van Horn’s interview was scheduled Wednesday, March 15.

Candidate Peggy Bradford is scheduled to be interviewed April 17. An interview with candidate Deborah Garrett is scheduled April 19.

An open forum for students, alumni and residents of the college district is scheduled on the same day as each candidate’s interview. The forums are set for 1 p.m. each day in the River Room at Shawnee Community College’s Main Campus in Ullin. We encourage the public to attend.

The first candidate to be interviewed for Shawnee Community College’s President position was scheduled to be Brian Chapman of Ava.

Chapman currently serves as the executive director for regional and intergovernmental affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  

Chapman’s work includes expanding articulation agreements with area community colleges, delivering off campus programs to community colleges and identifying and presenting state grant opportunities for system colleges and programs resulting in new revenue.  

Chapman encourages campus, community and regional economic development and progresses university relations with community colleges, schools, labor, local governments, businesses and donors. 

Chapman earned a Ph.D. in political science, master of public administration degree and bachelor of arts degree in political science all from SIUC.

Chapman has more than two decades of experience at SIUC.

His previous positions include special assistant to the president/director of special projects (2006 to 2014), assistant vice chancellor (1999-2006) and director of development (1995-1999).  

He currently serves on the Center for Rural Health and Social Services Development advisory board as chairperson, on the Carbondale Business Development Committee and on the Carnegie Campus/Community Engagement Committee.

The second candidate to be interviewed for Shawnee Community College’s president position was scheduled to be Brian Van Horn of Murray, Ky.

Van Horn currently serves as associate provost and dean of regional academic outreach at Murray State University in Murray, Ky.  

Since accepting the position in 2008, Van Horn helped to establish a working relationship with the McCracken County judge executive, the mayor of Paducah and the Paducah Economic Development Council to secure a public partnership for Murray State University’s Paducah regional campus, which is located off I-24.  

Van Horn is responsible for the supervision and promotion of all Murray State University regional campuses located throughout Kentucky.  

His accomplishments also include designing the first transfer center for Murray State University, which increased new transfer enrollments by 31.6 percent from fall 2009 to fall 2015.

Van Horn earned his Ed.D. in education from the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn. Van Horn earned his master of public administration degree and a bachelor of science degree from Murray State University. 

His previous positions at Murray State University include serving as director of the MSU Paducah Regional Campus (1998-2008) and as assistant dean of regional Academic Outreach (2001-2008).  

Van Horn currently serves on the Association for Continuing Higher Education administration advisory council to the international headquarters, on the Paducah Economic Development Council board, on the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce board and on the West Kentucky Workforce Investment board of directors.

The college announced that additional information about the remaining presidential candidates will be forthcoming.

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March 20, 2017 at 06:37AM

Candidate interviews begin in search for new president