Pension reform, education funding and special needs budget cuts were on the minds of those in attendance at the first town hall meeting hosted by State Representative Grant Wehrli and State Senator Michael Connelly.
“A lot of times the only thing we hear from Springfield is in the form of newsletters and what we read in the paper but I think it’s important that people hear it from Grant and I, that we are doing a lot down there and working with everybody across the aisle to make Illinois stronger, and I think it’s important that they hear that,” said State Senator Mike Connelly.
More than 130 people filled the seats in council chambers for the event.
Wehrli and Connelly agree with Rauner’s overall plan that budget reform needs to come before revenue, something that doesn’t sit well with many residents.
“I’ve been around a long time and I don’t see reform happening and if we have to wait for reform to happen our people are not going to get serviced. So I am not real happy waiting for reform I’ve seen it over and over again, I’ve been to the meetings, I’ve been to Washington and Springfield and reform doesn’t happen. I think we need to look at priorities and say this is really what we care about,” said Naperville Resident Cindy Swanson.
The open-question forum made residents feel their concerns were taken seriously and helped them gain a better understanding of the Governor’s plans.
“I think a lot of people got the chance to voice their concerns and I think both the Senator and Representative did a great job expressing their opinions. They really weren’t apologists for the governor – in places where they aligned they said so and where they disagreed they said that,” said Swanson.
Because of the high turnout, Connelly and Wehrli plan to host more of these meetings all over their districts.
“It’s a little more intimate and take a couple hours of time, I mean that’s our job to make ourselves available to the public,” said Connelly.
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