Halpin gains perspective of COVID-19 after personal recovery

4 The Record

Illinois state representative: 'Take care of each other'

This year of the pandemic brought us confusion, heightened our fear and continues to leaves us in a world of uncertainty.

That uncertainty is everywhere.

It’s an issue the Illinois government will have to address in the next legislative session — a lot of that not directly tied to the pandemic.

One is the uncertain future of Speaker of the House Mike Madigan — a job he’s held for 35 of the last 37 years.

The state legislative investigation into his ties to the ComEd bribery scandal are on hold for now.

It’s the biggest threat to his power.

Some Democrats in Springfield are already jumping ship and won’t support him for another term as speaker. 

Illinois’ troubled finances pre-date the pandemic.

They got worse under Bruce Rauner’s administration as governor.

The state went more than two years without a budget under his leadership and his reluctance to compromise with Democrats in control of the legislature.

Things haven’t improved much under Democratic Governor JB Pritzker.

Pritzker pinned his hopes on the constitutional amendment to adopt a progressive state income tax.

It failed overwhelmingly.

Now the governor is calling for budget cuts and says the budget deficit in Illinois is likely going to get worse over the next five years if nothing is done.

The deficit is projected to be almost $4 billion by the end of June.

Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills projected to be more than $10 billion at that time.

That’s double the backlog Illinois had under Governor Rauner.

There’s a lot Illinois state lawmakers have to figure out in the next legislative session.

Represenative Mike Halpin will be in the middle of it and he joined 4 The Record this week for a conversation this morning.

First of all, Halpin let us know how he was feeling after he announced that he contracted COVID-19 a few weeks ago.

He also shared what perspective having the virus gives you when it comes to the different approaches we see across the country and the clear differences we have in Iowa and Illinois.

Democrats canceled the fall veto session because of the pandemic against Governor JB Pritzker’s wishes.

He wanted to address the state’s financial problems.

Halpin discussed how serious he thinks the loss of a veto session is to Illinois.

Those financial problems are now magnified by the rejection of the progressive income tax by voters.

Halpin talked about  why he thinks it failed and if the governor and Democrats presented a poor case.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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