No. We’re no longer talking about politicians. We’re talking about us!
The Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield next week to begin the Fall Veto Session. It’s a portion of the legislative process where lawmakers are supposed to act upon actions taken by Governor Quinn regarding proposed changes to law sent to him by the assembly during the Spring Session of this year. In reality, some of that will occur. However, this is also the time when parties in power use their majorities to make additional legislative changes before the next General Assembly is sworn into office in January. It’s the kickoff point for the next two year session of the legislature.
We know where we are now. We’re deeply in debt. The debt is only getting larger. And, the means of reducing that obligation are not looking any brighter than they have been for the past several months.
The economy is not growing at a rate fast enough to fill the financial hole. Yet, huge segments of society are clamoring for more money in order to maintain the status quo. So, who will lawmakers determine puts more money in so they have money to give to groups who take money out? And, how do they close the debt they have already amassed?
Now is the time for every state agency to review their spending programs and make hard decisions regarding what programs could be targeted for reduction or elimination. It’s also the time for every segment of recipient entities to review their operations and determine needs versus wants and be prepared to offer realistic input into the process.
Despite providing a significant portion of the states economy, the agriculture industry is not going to be exempt from the budget ax. So, it’s vital that leaders of all aspects of the agriculture community look within their programs and make those same hard decisions – what could be restructured or reduced and what must remain or be revised to improve the industry and, ultimately, the economy of Illinois.
What lawmakers decide to do with the current mess depends upon several factors, including how confident they are that they can raise taxes after voters spoke loud and clear they do not want to pay more until spending is brought under control. Therein lays the problem!
As lawmakers begin the next session I have no doubts there will be cuts in numerous agencies and their programs. I also have no doubt there will eventually be attempts to increase revenues.
In other words – be prepared for activity concerning our industry!