Ugaste: Voters have ultimate power if they want clean government
Dan Ugaste says he is convinced voters will have to be the change in the fight to clean up Springfield.
“Absolutely, I’d like to see them make better, more informed decisions about who they cast votes for when they go to the polls,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “We need more of them knowing who it is they’re voting for and what their plan is to get Illinois back stable and on its feet.”
As it is, the state’s struggles seem to growing more entrenched by the day with a new University of Illinois-Chicago analysis finding that over the last four decades more public officials from the Chicagoland area and northern Illinois have been jailed on corruption charges than in any other part of the country.
From 1976 thru 2017, researchers found, there have been 1,731 federal corruption convictions across those parts of the state, surpassing federal district court numbers in even the larger metropolises of Los Angeles (1,534) and New York City (1,327).
“It’s a sad story,” added Ugaste, who won his seat in the 65th District in November with 52 percent of the vote. “A big part of motivation is be here to be part of the change.”
Ugaste holds to that vow, even though he admits things have not gotten off to the kind of start in the new legislative session he hoped they would and thinks they should have.
“I understand Democrats wanted to get the minimum wage increase done, but this was simply too quickly and I don’t think there’s any way it should have been the first issue we tackled,” he said of the passage of the bill poised to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. “Our pension crisis and persistently unbalanced budget would have been much more pressing issues to tackle. The bottom line is we have to get the climate back to where businesses want to come back here and make this a pro-growth state.”
The 65th House District includes Batavia, Burlington, Dundee, Elgin, Geneva, Grafton, Hampshire, Plato, Rutland and St. Charles.