In his Jan. 18 State of the State Address Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Illinois' favorite son of immigrants, said:
"And today - Illinois is a fairer state - than we were three years ago. We're a state that guarantees more rights and more opportunities to African Americans, to Latinos, to immigrants, to women, and to gays and lesbians - in short, more opportunities for men and women across our state who for far too long have been denied an equal chance to live a better life."
( The guv's goodies package also includes a $1,000 tax credit for college students who maintain a B average. Gee, you don't think illegals enjoying Blago's instate tuition program
will cash in here as well?)
I'd like to make a suggestion that would go a long way toward improving Blago's "fairness"
rating. How about telling Illinois taxpayers how much it costing them to support the 400,000 illegals living in the Land of Lincoln? The last figures we have ($153.4 million annually
, 1994) came from Gov. Jim Edgar's office, and I think an update is in order.
But I have to admit I'm not too optimistic about the chance of that happening. The last time somebody dared to raise the subject was in February 2003, but the idea died in an Illinois Senate rules committee with NO cosponsors. The upstart who introduced a bill requiring a costs study was state Sen. Chris Lauzen (R-Aurora
) who, by the way, was the only one in his august chamber to vote against the instate tuition for illegals bill. (Don't hold me to this, but I think Mr. Lauzen submitted a similar bill last year.)
But Mr. Lauzen now has in hand the recent stories about Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's illegal aliens costs study
, and I'm sure he could use the encouragement to try again.
I mean, fair is fair, ain't it, Mr. Blagojevich?