SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, issued the following statement Wednesday after being sworn in for a new term in the Illinois House of Representatives:
“I am honored and humbled to continue representing my neighbors in the 56th District in Springfield. Now more than ever, it’s critical that the governor and legislators on both sides of the aisle listen to their constituents and negotiate in good faith to end the ongoing budget impasse.
“Like the people I meet walking door-to-door and at community events, I am frustrated by the gridlock in Springfield and stand ready to work with my colleagues and the governor to pass a responsible budget that protects funding for vital state services and our most vulnerable residents. I urge the governor to return to the negotiating table and restart bipartisan working groups, which have found success in coming to previous budget compromises. Without a budget, colleges and universities are in danger of canceling programs, laying off more employees, and in some cases even closing. Thousands of seniors who rely on the Community Care Program would be forced out of their homes into nursing homes – costing taxpayers three times more money – and elementary and high schools once again risk not opening in the fall. We cannot let this happen.
“I will continue to demand that the state spend taxpayer dollars more efficiently and live within its means, like every family must do. We must constantly look for ways to streamline the delivery of state services, ensure that they are cost effective and efficient, and cut wasteful spending.
“Average Illinoisans are taxed enough, including paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation, and taxpayers and homeowners need relief. Over the last two years, I voted numerous times to freeze property taxes, and I will continue to fight to cap rising property taxes, especially when home values fall. In addition, I oppose all efforts to raise taxes on middle-class families and small businesses. Illinois needs change but higher taxes on families who are already struggling is not the right answer.
“In the upcoming legislative session, I will continue to strongly support fully funding education and will oppose and speak out against any proposals to unfairly slash funding for locals schools. Taking millions of dollars out of local classrooms only does a disservice to students, parents, and teachers.
“As I continue to connect with the residents I represent, I know their calls for fiscal responsibility, strengthening our schools, and compromise is one that the politicians need to hear in Springfield. I also look forward to directly engaging with residents through citizen advisory committee meetings, walking door-to-door, and community events.”