Local voters: Attorney general should act

November 29, 2018

KANKAKEE — Through smoke and mirrors, the state balances its budget every year, as the state constitution requires.

In reality, the state budget has been in the red for years.

In the Nov. 6 election, the Kankakee County Board ran an advisory referendum asking voters whether the attorney general should enforce the constitution’s balanced budget requirement.

About 90 percent of voters said yes.

County board Chairman Andy Wheeler, R-Kankakee, said the answer was so obvious that it was like saying “a giraffe’s neck is long.”

“(Legislators) can’t check themselves,” Wheeler said at the county board’s executive committee meeting Tuesday. “There is only one check and balance in Illinois. That would be the attorney general.”

For the last 16 years, the attorney general has been Democrat Lisa Madigan. If she had enforced the provision, she would have been in opposition to her father, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has held his position for all but two years since 1983.

Lisa Madigan, whose term ends in January, did not run again.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee accepted the resignation of John Featherly, chairman of the county’s zoning board for the last 15 years.

Dennis Martin has been nominated to replace Featherly. Members Bill Hemm and Gene Rademacher are being recommended as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

The zoning board has been especially busy in recent months because of a surge in applications for solar farms.

In other business, the committee was told the county’s employee head count is at 518, down from 526 a month ago. Last December, it was 529.

“There are still several outstanding positions that will be filled in the next 30 days,” County Administrator Anita Speckman said.

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