Illinois taxpayers are given the option to donate money to charity each year when they file their state tax returns.
Now, America’s most indebted state is raiding those funds to pay for wasteful spending that the Democratic governor and legislature refuse to cut.
As Chicago’s local NBC affiliate reported recently, it’s a form of theft made possible by a law that then-Gov. Rob Blagojevich passed in 2003 allowing “unused” money to be swept into the state’s general fund.
A spokesperson for Blagojevich’s successor, Gov. Pat Quinn, claims the charity money was used to pay for Medicaid expenses, and that without those funds, the state would have lost critical federal funding.
Even some Democrats, including former gubernatorial candidate Dawn Clark-Netsch, find such excuses unacceptable. They are outraged at behavior that would likely result in criminal prosecutions, were it to be done by a private company or individual.
But nothing will change in Illinois until the “East Germany of the Midwest” breaks the stranglehold of one-party rule.