Caulkins calls for 'a united stand' by downstate governments that face neglect under Pritzker
State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) argues that everything about Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s early tenure in Springfield sends the wrong message for the state.
“Everything about what he’s done to this point suggests that he’s trying to make up for all Chicago’s past failures,” Caulkins told Chambana Sun. “That absolutely sends a terrible message to the rest of the state and I’m really curious to see what Democrats in the House will ultimately have to say about it.”
News that Pritzker now plans to pump even more money in the pension system of Chicago teachers while subtracting from the plan of retired-teacher systems across the rest of the state only figures to add yet another log to the fire in the simmering debate over where the new governor’s loyalties lie.
In all, Pritzker’s plan calls for diverting around $500 million into Chicago teachers pensions, a far cry from the position he took while campaigning, when he insisted he planned to pay more to all teacher-pension systems statewide.
“The bottom line is we need to figure out how to fund these pensions, but we keep voting for these politicians who underfund the systems and keep running to taxpayers to make up for their failures,” added Caulkins, who won the 101st District in November with nearly 70 percent of the vote. “Short-changing some for the benefit of others isn’t the way to go, and if I were a downstate teacher or just another state employee I would be livid.”
With things being the way that are, Caulkins said every suburban politician should feel an added responsibility to stand up to Pritzker and speak out against some of his most misguided policies.
“Our job has to be to point out what’s going on and call on others like collar-county Democrats to come around as well,” he added. “This is a situation that has to be resolved and we have to keep them reminded that it’s also going to take them to rectify the situation. We have to face the realization that the damage being done to downstate governments will continue to be the case until we take a united stand.”
The 101st House District includes parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.