tv Washington Journal 50 Capitals Tour - Tim Butler - Springfield Illinois CSPAN October 9, 2018 9:41pm-10:00pm EDT
a danger sort of mar sacism? i don't think so. sorts ofhere dangerous mar sacism? absolutley we have sign the in but i don't think the president fits into that all.ory as >> watch "after word "sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on book tv. one 41 on the 50 capitals tour takes us to springfield, illinois, located historic route 66 and springfield became the state's capital in 1637 and the cities for being the hometown of abraham lincoln and joining is on the c-span bus this morning. tim butpresentative the republican who vents same house seat that lincoln once stood. mr. butler, good morning to you. fiscal helpwith the of illinois, illinois is a state that is coptiansly ranked at the bottom or near the pottom of fiscal health when it comes to
various state rankings why is that? >> well, we have a lot of big chal lens in illinois when it comes to the budget house. bottf fiscal health when it comes to various state rankings big white is that? -- rankings. why is that? guest: we have huge pension debt in the state of illinois. with $130 billion in unfunded pension liability. medicaid payments have skyrocketed over the next -- past decade and a half. on top of that, we are coming off an unprecedented budget impasse, what we did not have a budget for the state of illinois for two years. that accumulated unpaid bills upwards of $60 million. debt just our structural problem in the state of illinois is squeezing out a lot of the
other programs we want to fund. situation.gh those in the general assembly try to battle it, but it is a hard situation for the citizens of illinois. with the second-highest overall tax burden out of all of the states. he will feel taxed out. we need to provide for services we offer to the citizens of illinois. .t is a tough situation we are trying to move forward and we passed a budget earlier this year, a bipartisan budget that was balance. canfully moving forward, we tackle these issues. we will continue to see big questions about the financial health of our state moving forward. host: to put the this goal perspective, a report was released that found unfunded pension liability in 2017 to grew 25% in $250 billion in total. talk about the future things you are doing to bring down that
curve. guest: certainly, the pension debt is a huge issue for us. in illinois, the last constitution we enacted in the state of illinois was the 1970 constitution. in the constitution, the pension clause says you shall not diminish pensions of public employees, tensions and benefits of a look employees. that puts a strict burden on what we can do to tier one employees, especially those under the tier one program. -- too have tier one and two and tier three for public employees, but we cannot touch tier one pensions and can't change them or diminish them. we have to figure a way around it we are obligated to pay those pension debts annually. tohave to pay every month the pension obligations we have in the state of illinois. we are looking at ways to get around that. aboutis a lot of talk
making it longer. i am not in favor of that. it gets a lot of discussion in the state that would lower payments annually to free up money. we will have to make good on our promises, and that will be tough to figure out because we only have so much tax income we can get. we just raise the income tax last year, and i don't think it will be raised anytime in the future. we have to figure it out. over the long haul, it will come from dropping other services so we can pay the pension that and make sure we are keeping up with our obligations to state employees. callinguld you advocate a new constitutional convention to change the pension? guest: i have introduced a resolution to have a constitutional convention in the state of illinois, not because of the pension clause -- ira present a lot of state employees
in the capital and i said i do not want to see the pension clause diminished. we need to make good to our -- on our promises. it is time that we do have a constitution convention. we call it every 50 years that we have been a state where it this is our bicentennial year. every 50 years, we've called a constitutional convention. it has been almost 50 years since we had our last one. there are so many issues we deal with that are constitutionally related. term limits, redistricting, home rule powers, education funding, that are tied to our constitution. it is long past time we reevaluate that and move forward, and possibly create some changes to the constitution. term limits is something that annually comes up in the state of illinois that has been blocked time and time again, and something i have been advocating. redistricting, especially come with gerrymandering in districts in illinois that i would love to
see us go to a commission form of redistricting where it is taken out of the hands of the legislature and moved to some sort of bipartisan or nonpartisan commission that draws the maps. we need to do that through the constitution. host: you are dealing with the open euro crisis. -- opioid crisis. you get attention for a law that would expand the use of marijuana to help fight the opioid crisis. explain how that works and if you supported it. guest: i was one of the cosponsors on the bill and i was happy to see the governor sign it. it is an important piece of legislation that allows anyone who has an opioid prescription to get a medical marijuana card in illinois. if at the medical marijuana program going for a few years now. i've seen many successes and talked to people directly who benefited from the use of marijuana. illinois, if you
have an opiate prescription you can get marijuana card and swap out marijuana for opioids. it would be for the extent of your prescription for opioids, you would be able to get a six-month card for medical marijuana. it is a step in the right traction. certainly the end-all answer to the issue of opioid abuse and problems we have, but a step in the right direction. we are offering safe alternatives to people to deal with pain and issues they have while they are using opioids to use something that really does not have the problems that opioids do. i am looking forward to seeing the program get implemented and to see how it will change things with the opioid abuse. host: another issue, gun violence. very states have been compared.
illinois has the eighth strongest gun laws in america. what has that meant for gun violence in illinois? guest: we continue to see terrible violence -- gun violence in the city of chicago. chicago is one of the worst cities in nation when it comes to gun violence. we see gun trafficking as a major problem and trafficking from other state guns coming into illinois is a huge cotton. we have tried to tackle some of these issues in the general assembly. there was a package of ours that the governor signed and try to address gun violence. at the end of the day, when it comes to a community like chicago or my home town of springfield, we need to have good programs on the street that work with folks before they get to that point. we have cut back on some of that funding. -- a proudseen a big supporter of any of the
programs, but some of the programs we help neighborhoods and interact with folks prefer they get to the violence can really help them through the situation and that is important. as a state, we need to put a priority on the things to make things in place to address the gun violence and make our place state -- safer. housetim butler is in the here and before becoming a state representative, you worked with two members of congress. can you compare the expense of working up on capitol hill to your experience in the state? guest: i have to say it is quite fun to be on the side of a journal," camera. working for the transportation secretary and was a republican member of the house
of representatives. whorked for rodney davis, is my own congressman in springfield. we are in his district in downtown springfield. we have been friends for a long time. i was honored to work for him before i got to this position. prior to that and the 1990's, i got my start working on capitol hill. i was in the house education and labor committee for three years. it was a great opportunity. i loved living in washington and working on capitol hill. my experience working for federal legislators aim in handy when i got in the general assembly. i am a creature of legislative bodies. i was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2015, i hope i have the ground running and i was familiar with the process as a staff person. it is different being on the side of it. you do not have to go out and advocate for someone oh,
whatever comes to my brain and out of my mouth is my own ideas. certainly, that is a different part i did not have before. i enjoy it, and it is an opportunity to serve illinois and advocate for the 110,000 people represent. of talkicago gets a lot about being dysfunctional. is it dysfunctional? guest: we are coming off a two-year budget impasse that highlights the dysfunction we have in illinois. all the timeeople and we have a big partisan divide in the state of illinois. we have regional differences between downstate illinois and the southern tip of illinois is adjacent to kentucky. the northern borders with wisconsin. we have a lot of regional differences in the state that leads to political differences. at the end of the day, we are here to make a difference for the people we represent. it is important that you work with both sides of the aisle.
you do see some dysfunction, but day in and day out, you see opportunities in illinois were both republicans and democrats work together to try to get something done. the bill you mentioned, the opioid bill, where we now allow people to get a medical marijuana card is definitely a piece of legislation that was the bipartisan piece of legislation advocated by high-ranking democrats and signed by republican governor. you had republican cosponsors on the bill. we try to work together, we are at times no different than washington or other states where we have partisan divide on the issues of the day. host: you have served since 2015, how long do you plan to serve in state politics? guest: as i tell people, i will not serve in the shop forever. i enjoy what i do right now, and i am wrapping up my first full term come in second term overall in the general assembly and will
be on the ballot this fall. i doubt if you ask me 10 years from now i will be in the same position. there are plenty of good people who can do the shop answer for a little while and go do something else. i do not have necessarily a time frame when i will be done, but
it will not be a long-term career for me. i will certainly go on and do other things but i feel that i have done my time here. host: tim butler represents the 87th district and the illinois statehouse. we appreciate connecticut secretary of state will be our guest on the bus during washington journal starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern. on friday we're live in providence, rhode island for the 45th stop.
at 8:30 a.m. eastern. david young is facing a liveenge from democratic 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and debates republican third party candidate a gary johnson live at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
c-span is live from wisconsin at 8:00 p.m. eastern saturday and second debate between democratic senator tammy baldwin then on sunday, it the senate debate in ohio senatordemocrat kick sherrod brown and republican representative and that is live 6:00 p.m.starting at eastern.
with election day less than mnt away on the control of congress in question. see the come tegs for yourself c-span watch the debate from key house and senate races. c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. traveling bus is across the country on the 50 capitals tour and stopped in dakota ands, north looking for war to the midterm election and asking folk which is party should control congress and why. party i want to take over congress is the democratic party and not just because i values of the democratic party but because i republican party has the responsibility to serve as the check and balance on the and in addition to legislation certainly the is the dent responsibility of congress to be
able to serve at that check and seence and we have not that. we have seen the presidency run amuck. >> if control of congress changes in november i will inieve i will be impacted several ways. for one i am college student who is getting out of school season and enderring this the work force and things such as tax such as financial matter wes decide in congress will directly affect me and the and also, i am african-american woman and is forntation that there me and those who are fighting for my rights. and i believe this will be a change inthere is congress. bythe elections this year if some strange chance the congress anotherhange over to party we would have some impact ine and but generally indiana we are pent folks and
with our program we have moved ahead with whatever congress does. make sure we operate and responsible and business-like which and the federal government helps us out. that is great. if they don't, we will continue now working we are with them also. i i the democrats should control congress because i believe country needs to bring more left particularlyes issues pertaining to women and women's ability to choose and women's right in the workplace. thank you. >> part of c-span's 50 capitals tour.
voices were the states part of c-span's 50 capitals tour. fox news host tucker carlson book "schiphols" how the selfless class is bringing to the brink of revolution. i could not get past the idea for the country voted donald trump. how would you do that? it is not attack on trump? i think trump is right in the sense and a bun of things. you would not elect trump unless you really really, really wanted to send a message. what is the messaging? nesage is people who are in hated on both sides and him and screwed up. easterny night at 8:00 on q&a.