Durbin said he’s glad Illinois has a stop-gap budget, but the year-long budget crisis didn’t help reduce violence in Chicago.
The short-term budget passed by the state at the end of last month restored funding for youth programs like Ceasefire and Redeploy Illinois. But Durbin said the budget stalemate exacerbated the problems people in the poorest neighborhoods in the state face, such as drug trafficking and gang activity. The year-long budget impasse meant Illinois cut off resources for anti-violence programs.
“I can’t specify that the state budget equals more violence,” he said. “I wouldn’t go that far. But I will tell you, it creates an environment of vulnerability.”
“The reasons for it are many, involving drug trafficking, involving gangs and broken families,” he said.
* Peoria’s public radio station added this bit…
Law enforcement agencies in the state said in March that program cuts to youth diversion programs and community-based services were increasing the likelihood of more crime.