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In today’s Chicago Tribune, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker writes that Wisconsin-style reform is not beyond the reach of even Illinois.

Governor Scott Walker’s leadership in Wisconsin brought the state back from the brink to a job-creating model of responsibility and leadership. At least someone’s attempting to provide some leadership in Illinois today. It certainly isn’t our own Governor Pat Quinn.

Walker writes:

As is the case in Illinois, the truth is often sobering. I know the feeling. When I became governor in Wisconsin, the state faced a $3.6 billion deficit, was hemorrhaging jobs and had high unemployment.

While I’m not an expert on the fiscal challenges facing Illinois, based on media reports I’ve read and stories I’ve heard from visiting your state, there are major budgetary issues that need to be resolved. Illinois faces a fiscal and economic crisis.

In times of crisis, citizens should demand leadership. In the weeks leading up to the Wisconsin recall election, a supporter and friend told me: “If you hadn’t gone as far as you did, you might have avoided this recall election.” I responded, “We also wouldn’t have fixed our problem. I’m not planning on it, but I’m not afraid to lose.”

The actions we took in balancing the state’s budget and implementing collective bargaining reforms were solely aimed at ensuring that my two sons and other kids would inherit a state better off than the one I had. Burying the next generation under a mountain of crippling debt was never a realistic option.

Further, he says that the stability of Wisconsin is dependent not just on the state’s own fiscal solvency, but also on that of the entire region:

I visited Illinois last week, not to poach businesses but to encourage employers who have a global presence to consider future expansion in Wisconsin. The future of Wisconsin’s economy is tied to the Midwest region — specifically the Chicago and northern Illinois areas, which is why I hope Illinois leaders can make long-term structural changes that will provide certainty to private-sector job creators.

Illinois is more than ready for this type of leadership; the question is, is our Illinois Republican Party ready to change their way of doing things and step up to the plate?

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