* Legislative Democrats have been holding rallies and other media events the past several days to highlight budget issues…
What started off as a positive rally last week to pull community and social service groups together in a collective voice to oppose budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner turned sour during the final minutes of the event.
The June 25 rally, hosted by members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, drew a standing-room only crowd of concerned citizens and advocacy groups at Austin’s Senior Satellite Center, 5071 W. Congress Pkwy. […]
But as the crowd began to file out after the two-hour rally was winding down, a visibly shaken and emotional Lightford quickly came back to the podium with some unfortunate news: Rauner had just vetoed the budget sent to him by state lawmakers, only a day after signing off on a bill that would provide the funds needed to allow public elementary and high schools to open in the fall.
“At first, it was just a little surprising that the governor would sign the education portion yesterday, and then turn around today and cut the entire bill,” Lightford said. “But it just shows me the selfishness in the way he’s looking to govern, that if we don’t give him everything he wants, then he’s willing to hurt people.”
* Phil Kadner…
A Southland mayor referred to the governor as “Rauner Hood” because he’s the opposite of Robin Hood, “he steals from the poor and gives to the rich.”
Also Thursday, State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, called on the head of the Illinois Department of Human Services to quit while addressing a legislative black caucus rally at South Suburban College, where elected officials detailed the devastating impact of budget cuts on Southland social services.
The next day, at a forum on “The State Budget and Its Impact on the Southland Region” at Governors State University, speakers from the south suburban chapter of United Way and from Voices for Illinois Children talked about Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto a budget plan that was underfunded by $3 billion to $4 billion. They said the veto would harm local communities by cutting aid to disabled people and single parents who rely on day care and by eliminating summer jobs programs for youngsters.
At each of the forums, people in the audience were encouraged to support tax increases to adequately pay for programs for people in need.
State Rep. Brandon Phelps (118th District) was hot under the collar Monday, June 22, and not just because of the warm temperatures outside the Williamson County Programs on Aging building in Herrin.
“The governor’s making us sweat, too,” said Phelps, a Democrat from Harrisburg, who joined 117th District State Rep.John Bradley, D-Marion, and 59th District State Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, at a press conference to discuss their opposition to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget plan.
Among the proposed cuts in Rauner’s plan, the three lamented proposals to close Southern Illinois facilities and reduce or eliminate funding for certain rural health care treatments, home energy assistance, in-home care for the elderly and other services.
“The governor should be focused on cutting waste in Springfield and Chicago, not cutting jobs here in Southern Illinois,” Phelps said.
* But one didn’t quite go as planned…
With Illinois just one day away from shutting down services, residents filled a room at the Fountaindale Public Library on Monday night to air concerns to Democrat lawmakers.
Some expressed concern over what could happen to key state services if a budget deal is not struck by the end of Tuesday, while others criticized lawmakers for not compromising with Gov. Bruce Rauner on his reform proposals. […]
Joe Nichols of Shorewood was quick to point out the blame should not fall solely on Rauner, who is six months into his first term and blasted the Democratic Party for years of operating Illinois in the red.
“I think, you, the Democratic Party should hang its head in shame. [Rauner] has a mess on his hands, and who created this mess?” Nichols said. “We’re constantly talking about ‘Oh, Rauner’s cutting this, Rauner’s cutting that. He’s the bad guy.’ … Yet we don’t seem to have the money. Well, I’m going to throw it right back in your lap and ask what are you going to do about it?”