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State budgets and personal budgets

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015

* Madeline Doubek

Since Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed slashing spending so that it matches actual annual revenues, it seems all we hear about are the worst-case scenarios that would result as every group in Illinois fights to keep what they’ve been getting. And those worst-case scenarios sound pretty rough. […]

We know it will be painful and there might be some negative consequences from some of the cuts. It scares me, for instance, to think about having to cut help for young adults who’ve aged out of the foster system and who never have been dealt a decent hand in their short lives. But these are the conversations that must be had.

Illinois expects to collect $32 billion in tax revenue. Rauner proposes to cut more than $6 billion to deal with the deficit and spend $31.5 billion. It really would be painful if I had to cut my spending by 20 percent, but there was a time once when I had to find a way to cut 10 percent. Staycations happened rather than vacations. There were far fewer dinners out and drinks with friends after work.

I don’t kid myself. I know there are plenty of us in Illinois who cut all that and much more during the Great Recession. They’ve never recovered from it.

But now it’s up to all of us to figure out what we want to afford. What we’re willing to pay for and what we’re not willing to fund. What can we live without?

* OK, first of all, Gov. Rauner did not match spending with revenues. His budget plan is loaded with billions in phony savings.

And even with those magical mystery savings, he still had to do things like toss kids off ventilators. So, while most people might want to compare their own personal situations to the budget, being forced to take a “staycation” or buying fewer glasses of wine is quite a bit different than telling parentless kids who are wards of the state that DCFS will no longer be their parents and they’ll be completely on their own once they turn 18.

…Adding… From comments

We need to cut, yes, but we need to cut things that would be described as those little luxuries she mentions cutting out of her personal budget. I didn’t see her mention cutting utilities, groceries, medical care out of her personal budget.

That’s exactly right.

* Also, not a word about revenues? Sheesh.

To compare my own family history to state budgeting, when I was a kid and my parents found themselves struggling financially (they had five boys) my dad would go out and get another job. He often worked three jobs when I was young. Did they also take out some loans to get through particularly tough times? Yep. Did my dad buy some cars (and an old tractor), fix them up and sell them for profits? Yep. Why? Because they recognized their need for more revenues. But did they also constantly watch their spending? Heck yes they did. Whew, did they ever.

* From a Senate Democratic press release

Rockford resident and Illinois State University student Lauretta Schaefer testified in the Illinois Senate Appropriations I Committee yesterday about the effects Governor Rauner’s budget would have on the Department of Children and Family Services.

Schaefer receives a scholarship from DCFS that allows her to attend college - something she knew she couldn’t do otherwise.

“When I was 14 my adopted parents showed me the DCFS scholarship, and I knew that was my ticket to higher education. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to attend college. Even with it, I still work two jobs to make ends meet,” said Schaefer.

Under the proposed budget, DCFS’s budget faces a nearly $150 million cut. A majority of the cuts will eliminate services for DCFS youth who are 18 years or older.

Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) who sits on the Appropriations I Committee had concerns about the proposed cuts.

“Many of these children have no parents and no support system to fall back on once they reach the age of 18. As a parent of four, I know my children will still call me for help and advice once they reach 18. These children don’t have that safety net. If we cut these programs, these young adults will have no one to fall back on. We need to keep these programs to help these kids break the cycle of poverty, to grow up and become productive members of our society,” said Stadelman.

It’s truly worth your time to listen to her testimony…

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Mar 20, 2015

* I kept comments opened later than usual because of the two attorney general opinions and I was awaiting a response from the governor’s office, which hasn’t yet arrived. I’m done for now.

It’s been quite a week. But, man, you can sure feel the threatening storm

Burns like a red coal carpet

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Live Video: Municipal bankruptcy hearing

Friday, Mar 20, 2015

* We’re coming a little late to this, but you can watch this morning’s legislative hearing on Rep. Ron Sandack’s municipal bankruptcy bill right here, via BlueRoomStream.com

The legislation is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Good morning!

Friday, Mar 20, 2015

* Ain’t life grand? It most certainly is for me. But is it for you? Here’s Yonder Mountain String Band covering Widespread Panic

Gonna bring her a kiss
Make those blues run

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Schilling endorses LaHood
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Duckworth to announce on Monday
* Rauner mulls selling Thompson Center
* Question of the day
* It's just a bill...
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Brown: Exploring an exploratory committee is "under review"
* Rauner administration denies union report of progress on fair share suit
* *** UPDATED x2 - Durbin out of the running? *** Illinois Republicans react to potential Durbin elevation
* Is a new era finally dawning in Illinois?
* Meanwhile, in Opposite Land...
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

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