Once again, Gov. Bruce Rauner refuses to take action on bipartisan gun legislation, saying it is “political grandstanding, grabbing for headlines rather than trying to get real improvement for the people of Illinois.” In typical Rauner fashion he lays the blame at the feet of House Speaker Michael Madigan.

For his entire term, Rauner has blamed Madigan for everything short of the Fort Dearborn Massacre and the Great Chicago Fire. He sits in the governor’s mansion and pontificate as if he were the only one who has the cures to Illinois’ ills, and yet he has done absolutely nothing to cure them and in some cases made them worse.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

As in the case of this gun bill, Rauner would rather do nothing than take even the smallest step to remedy the gun problems our nation faces. It’s interesting to note that when the governor makes these claims he almost always does so Downstate —  where he expects to draw the vast majority of his support in the November election. I guess where you do your grandstanding makes a difference.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park

Stop the insanity

I just can’t believe that our government hasn’t done anything to stop the insanity of all of these shootings. All these innocent children, killed. The first step should be to put a police officer at every school in the United States. A full-blown officer of the law. Public, private or charter school. Pass a law requiring a police officer at every school, period. Is that the best solution? Maybe not, but it’s certainly a deterrent.

Rich Ankotovitch, Park Ridge

Get serious

I read your editorial from Sunday, and I agree with every “bullet.” I am not a gun owner, but I’m not opposed to those who are. Regarding the reforms (“bullets”) mentioned in your piece, please allow me to add one more bullet to your list … maybe even make this #1.

Laws and rules are useless without fines and penalties. There’s no deterrent to disregard accepted laws and rules without enforcement of them. Tragedies like this will continue until our judicial system gets serious. It’s long, long overdue.

Dick Davis, Oswego

Citizens will lose

The safety of the citizens of Cook County could be in jeopardy if Chief Judge Timothy Evans has his way. In response to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s budget cuts of mostly upper level, highly paid management and administration in the chief judge’s office, a lawsuit was filed by Chief Judge Evans over his ability to manage his budget, and while it appears that there is a tentative settlement in the case, the members of AFSCME Local #3486 Cook County Adult Probation Officers and the citizens of Cook County will be the losers when the agreement is signed.

Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans shown in October 2017. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans, shown in October 2017. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Chief Judge Evans is pressuring a vote by the adult probation officers that could result in the layoff of 37 officers. The union inquired why the membership would be subjected to wage reductions or layoffs when County Board President Preckwinkle identified mostly six-figured salaried employees to close the budget gap as the result of the repeal of the sweetened beverage tax. Chief Judge Evans explained that he believes that it should be a “shared sacrifice” among his employees.

The county appropriated 407.5 adult probation officer positions in the FY 2018 budget, 39 fewer budgeted officer positions by the county than in FY 2017. According to the Cook County Adult Probation Department management, there are 380 Adult Probation Officers on the county payroll. The result is there are 27.5 adult probation officer vacancies, funded positions in the current FY 2018 Cook County budget.

Financial representatives of the Chief Judge maintained that the Chief Judge currently has a $2.7 million budget gap that he needs to close by May 25, and that he wants Adult Probation Officers, front line staff, to share the sacrifice in closing the gap with wage reductions and/or the layoff of 37 officers. How can the Chief Judge require wage reductions or layoffs of Cook County Adult Probation Officers when there are 27.5 funded vacant positions in this year’s budget?

A conservative estimate of the vacant funded positions is $1,402,500. The chief judge’s office calculated the potential savings from the layoff of the 37 adult probation officers at $1,134,280. The union has proposed eliminating the vacant funded positions to get the “shared sacrifice” that he needs to close his budget gap.

The chief judge should keep his commitment to his dedicated men and women in the Adult Probation Department that assist in reducing overcrowding in the Cook County Department of Corrections and monitor offenders that are sentenced to probation that are convicted of sex and violent crimes, domestic abuse and drug related offenses by using the funded vacant positions to prevent wage reductions and layoffs in the Cook County Adult Probation Department.

Jim Dunaway, local union president,
Cook County Adult Probation Officers