Statement from House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Township) on House Bill 5160, which attempts to force filling two vacancies in the Court of Appeals:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

“This is an issue that never should have come up. The Governor has explicitly stated that leaving these two seats vacant would save the state money. The Speaker and legislative Republicans agreed with that when they voted for savings in the 2012 Judiciary budget. To now add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the budget, overspending the budget when many of our residents are facing reduced unemployment eligibility, education cuts and increased taxes on our seniors and vulnerable residents sends the wrong message to citizens. To hide their substitute until after committee debate, raise this overspending issue at the last minute, and then try to stifle debate on the House floor stinks of partisan gamesmanship. If the leadership in this state is so intent on spending money, it should be spent on the people, not unneeded judges.”