A Chorus of Voices against Deadbeat Illinois
For the past week, newspapers around Illinois have published the results of a unique joint investigation. "Deadbeat Illinois" has disclosed, with shocking detail, the depth of state government's deliberate policy of paying billions of dollars in bills late.
In three editorials last week, we decried this unconscionable practice, called on suburban legislators to demand an end to it and called on voters to use the topic as a litmus-test issue when reviewing candidates next year.
We were not the only newspaper working with The Associated Press on this project. And we were not the only one speaking about it on the editorial page. Here are excerpts from other newspapers. (Links to the full versions appear with this editorial at dailyherald.com.)
Alton Telegraph, Oct. 16:
State's backlog of bills infuriating
Unfortunately, as the system now stands, there are no repercussions for elected officials who fail to make the hard choices needed to allow Illinois to pay its bills. State government is allowed to go on with its deficit spending, an option not available to those in the private sector.
In our opinion, the first bills that the state should delay payment on should be the paychecks of our state legislators and officeholders. What do you think would happen if that were the case? Do you think our state government finally might figure out how to get its bills paid if it meant that lawmakers would go without their salaries until they did so?
Belleville News-Democrat, Oct. 16:
Dancing with the State (debt)
We find ourselves having a bad dream. We are contestants on "Dancing with the State." Our partner is a drunken sailor with two left feet. And we are in the advanced competition, trying to learn the "Taxation Three-Step" as the Lawrence Welk Orchestra plays selections from Ludacris. Rehearsal never stops.
Bloomington Pantagraph, Oct. …