Illinois legislators have no problem spending taxpayers’ money

Believe it or not, Illinois did have a fair share of decent politicians.

One of those was Everett Dirksen from Pekin, who served as a congressman from 1933 to 1949 and then as a senator from 1953 to 1969.

Senator Dirksen was a fiscal conservative and was reported to have said, “A million here, a million there. Pretty soon you’re talking about real money!”

Some people may not know about Illinois House Bill 5531.

Illinois House Bill 5531 was sponsored by State Representative Luis Arroyo and would have eliminated the 50 percent tuition discount that children of university employees with seven years seniority are eligible to receive.

It’s estimated that some 2,000 students per year take advantage of this program, which costs somewhere between $8 million and $387 million dollars per year — depending on who’s telling the story.

It didn’t surprise me that Illinois House Bill 5531 didn’t pass.

It’s really easy to spend someone else’s money!

Senator Dirksen, ever the fiscal conservative, also said, “I know how easy it is to say, oh, it is only $20 million, or it is only $80 million, or it is only $240 million that will be taken out of the pockets of the taxpayer. But where will it finally stop? I do not know.”

It’s apparent that our legislators haven’t figured it out yet, either.


Gary Walkup

Carbondale resident


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