As we wrap up the Christmas season, we know life is not as easy for many of our city’s residents. Springfield politicians continue to protect the status quo over reform, with the most recent example being a budget that is still unbalanced despite it including one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history.

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has made it harder for families to get by, taking your hard earned money out of your pockets with his 32 percent tax hike. Madigan has repeatedly shown disregard for hardworking families over his more than three decades in office, and his most recent tax hike is just his latest betrayal.

Just as bad, Madigan’s budget cuts funding for Rock Island by nearly $1.5 million next year and all years going forward. Every year, a portion of your income tax goes to fund vital services in local government like police and fire protection or road and bridge repairs. Madigan and company reduced state resources dedicated to local government, making it harder for counties, cities, and towns to get by.

The budget Madigan muscled through the Illinois General Assembly this year is another example of the Chicago Democrat’s tax-and-spend philosophy. He raises your taxes while standing in the way of real spending reform that would benefit Illinois taxpayers. This antiquated policy hurts the Rock Island community, and we must resolve to fight for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s reforms that will bring growth to our city and state.

Mike Thoms

Rock Island

Editor’s note: Thoms is mayor of Rock Island