The payment schedule for Senate Bill 3514 is heavily backloaded and will steeply increase over time, resulting in up to $1 billion in total interest costs. If the payments were repaid using the Fiscal Year 2010’s responsible “frontloaded,” five-year schedule, the total interest would be $500 million, or half of the cost of the bonding under the current proposal.
In addition, Illinois’ credit ratings have deteriorated in the past year, meaning taxpayers will pay more in interest costs because of the state’s poor credit history. Illinois has seen more credit rating drops in less than two years than under any other governor. Illinois is now tied for the worst credit rating in the nation and has been warned by at least one rating agency that its credit standing is likely to be dropped again.
The measure perpetuates a cycle of borrowing and spending that creates higher payments for future taxpayers and creates an even bigger budget hole to be addressed next year.
POLL SHOWS ILLINOISANS WANT GOVERNMENT REFORM
A recent poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute reinforces that the public is tired of business as usual in Springfield. The survey reflects the opinions of 758 likely voters, and indicates that voters desire more reform in Illinois government. In fact, 81.3 percent of likely voters believe Illinois is headed in the wrong direction.
According to the poll, 65.6 percent of likely voters would support a ballot proposal allowing the voting public to remove a sitting Governor from office. A slightly higher percentage of 66.7 percent would also support having the ability to recall all statewide elected officials.
A majority of voters (74.3 percent) also say they are in favor of an open primary system, or one where they do not have to identify a party affiliation, with 81.7 percent of those polled indicating they would favor term limits for all state lawmakers, and 82.1 percent saying they’d like to see term limits for state legislative leaders.
The poll found that 66.6 percent would like to see more strict campaign contribution limits, 54.1 percent favored the public funding of judicial campaigns, and a strong majority indicated disapproval of the state’s current redistricting process.
Senate Republicans fought for years for a change to the way legislative districts are drawn in Illinois, saying the current process allows for the legal rigging of elections and denies voters the opportunity to fair representation. The current system that allows lawmakers to control the redistricting proposal was only supported by 10.3 percent of those polled, while 76.6 percent disapproved.
Kudos to the faculty and staff of the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) and the Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI), two of the premier government internship programs in the country, for providing opportunities for students to work in state government.
Each year, ILSIP provides 24 paid internships on different government staffs. Interns also earn eight graduate credits in political studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Applications are due in the ILSIP office by March 1, 2011. Selections are announced by mid-April 2011.
For more information, students should call the UIS Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies at 217-206-6579 or visit the ILSIP Web site at http://ilsip.uis.edu.
Interns with the Graduate Public Service Internship Program serve a 21-month paid internship at a local or state governmental agency while working on their graduate degree at UIS.
Applications are due in the GPSI office by March 15, 2011. Interviews will be held in April 2011.
For more information, students should call the UIS Office of Graduate Intern Programs at 217-206-6158 or visit the GPSI Web site at http://gpsi.uis.edu.