“Slash and Burn” Budget Consequences
Balancing the fiscal year 2010 budget by using only a “slash and burn” approach will take a significant toll on the people of Illinois. In this grim budget scenario, Illinois meets requirements to tap American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding and provides limited state money necessary to attract other federal matching funds.
What follows are some of the dire consequences should this scorched-earth, cuts-only, approach be used to close the deficit:
Education – $1.5 billion cut – Over 14,300 teachers laid off
• Cut school aid by $568 million, causing more than 9,300 teachers to lose their jobs.
• Eliminate preschool for 100,000 children, causing more than 5,000 teachers to lose their jobs.
Higher Education – $554 million cut – Over 400,000 students affected
• Eliminate all state scholarships, including MAP grants, making college less affordable for 400,000 students.
Healthcare – $1.2 billion cut – Over 650,000 people lose healthcare
• Eliminate healthcare for 300,000 children and 175,000 parents, and Rx assistance for 172,000 seniors.
• Eliminate all healthcare subsidies for 78,000 retired teachers, university and state employees.
Seniors – $368 million cut – Over 271,000 seniors affected
• Cut Community Care program in half - 26,000 seniors would not receive services to help remain in their homes.
• Eliminate Elder Abuse and Neglect program - 11,000 cases would not be investigated.
• Eliminate Circuit Breaker program, cutting property tax relief for 271,000 seniors.
Veterans – $27 million cut – Over 150,000 veterans affected and 1,000 kicked out of veterans’ homes
• Close all four Illinois veterans’ homes, leaving over 1,000 veterans without critical care.
• Eliminate Traumatic Brain Injury & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder counseling and assistance program.
Public Safety – $294 million cut – Nearly 1,000 State Troopers laid off and 6,000 inmates released early
• Lay off nearly 1,000 State Troopers -50 percent of the force - and eliminate the 2010 class of 100 cadets.
• Release over 6,000 inmates early and close the Sheridan and Southwestern Drug Treatment facilities.
• Close four Department of Juvenile Justice facilities and release over 500 juveniles early.
Human Services – $769 million cut – Over 100,000 people affected
• Eliminate home services for 5,000 people with disabilities.
• Eliminate addiction treatment and prevention for 45,000 people.
• Close one out of every five Illinois Department of Human Services offices.
• Eliminate child care for 1,000 kids and increase co-pays for remaining children.
Economic Development – $549 million cut – Every mass transit district affected
• Eliminate all state funding for public transit and AMTRAK.
Agriculture and Natural Resources – $98 million cut – 60 parks and every museum closed
• Shut down half of the state parks and lay off one-third of frontline park staff, and close state museums.
• Eliminate state funding for Springfield and Du Quoin state fairs, 4-H and county fairs.
Local Government – $1 billion cut
• Eliminate state funding for local governments, reducing their ability to fund core services like law enforcement, fire service and garbage collection and offices like public defenders, county treasurers and state’s attorneys.
Additional– $1.1 billion cut
• Require additional deep reductions in agency services, eliminate support for numerous specialized programs and eliminate dozens of state boards, offices, commissions and agencies.
• The two-year deficit from fiscal years 2009 and 2010 is $11.6 billion.
• Of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that Illinois is receiving, $4.1 billion can be applied towards closing the $11.6 billion deficit.
• In this “Slash and Burn” budget scenario, the remaining deficit is closed with $7.5 billion in cuts that hurt the citizens of Illinois and further damage the economy.