Illinois finally looking at hope for future


A political milestone occurred Thursday that should have happened months ago. Although ex-governor Rod Blagojevich being removed from office was definitely a noteworthy event, the focus should be shifted from the bad (Blagojevich) and onto the good of newly-appointed Governor Pat Quinn.

Instead of continuing to bash Blagojevich, now his reign is officially over, Illinoisans’ time would be better spent looking to Illinois’ future with Quinn and making clear what is expected of him. We don’t want our state to be defined by Blagojevich’s wrongdoing. So the first thing that should be done is to look past his misdeeds and onto the future. No matter what Quinn’s tenure brings, it is inconceivable that it can be worse than what Illinois has endured in the past two months alone.

This situation, hopefully, won’t consume the political atmosphere in the coming weeks, but, press presence around the situation won’t likely die down as early as it should. It’s obvious the past month has been nothing but a circus surrounding our state government and little to no work has been accomplished for the residents of Illinois. That cannot continue any longer.

If anything, Quinn should insist upon getting down to business as quickly as he can and put the derailed train that is Illinois politics back on the right track.

Now that Blagojevich has been removed and his trial will be shifted out of the state government’s focus, the entire legislature should remember why they are there and commit to bringing about the changes that were talked about before the Rowdy Roddy debacle.

As an Illinois college with two buildings in immediate need of renovation, nothing could be more crucial to NIU in terms of state politics as the passing of the Capital Bill that has been stalled in the House of Representatives. If that bill passes, some leeway might finally be made regarding decisions about how to appropriately deal with Cole Hall where five people were killed last spring. The building has stood vacant since Feb. 14, and the university needs to know how much funding they will be allocated to replace the space that was lost when the building was closed and create a way to memorialize those who died. The Stevens Building is another location on campus that is in dire need of funding in order for it to be utilized to its full potential. With students subjected to the disarray within its walls, the building is unsafe to use.

For this college, the Capital Bill is at the top of the long list of priorities that Quinn needs to address. Please, governor, help to rebuild the political reputation that Blagojevich tainted.

We’d like the state government to get down to business, but, for Illinois, not necessarily business as usual.