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Putting human faces on line items

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Metro East Democratic legislators held a media event yesterday and spotlighted some folks who would be hurt by budget cuts

Two years ago, Tara Miller’s now 4-year-old daughter Destiny was diagnosed with autism. Destiny had no functional speech, wasn’t able to say if she was hungry, if she was tired, or if she was hurt, and would avoid social interactions.

“I felt so alone, and even though she couldn’t tell me herself, I know my daughter felt more alone than me,” Miller, the East Alton resident, said through tears.

Miller and her daughter received services and resources as an autism center in Maryville, such as pictures to help Destiny communicate with others.

“She’s able to ask me for help, … and able to ask me for things she needs and wants,” Miller said. “She can speak to anybody who has a set of eyes and can look at a picture.”

For Miller, if the help she and Destiny receive through the Autism Program of Illinois is cut would be detrimental.

“If the funds for TAP are cut, or if there is a long budget stalemate, the results of it is your taking my child’s voice away,” Miller said. “She finally is able to speak, the regression will be unmeasurable, and I as a mother will be watching her disappear back into herself.”

* The governor’s response

“(Speaker) Mike Madigan along with his allies Reps. Beiser, Hoffman and Jackson, and Sens. Haine and Clayborne, are more interested in protecting the political class rather than fighting for the middle class,” Kelly said. “They have passed another phony budget that is $4 billion out of balance while refusing to enact any of Gov. Rauner’s structural changes like lawsuit reform, freezing property taxes and term limits which could help turn our state around.”


  1. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:44 am:

    The governor’s peeps never mention his proposed budget. Shouldn’t they be pushing that?

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:46 am:

    ===”…passed another phony budget that is $4 billion out of balance while refusing to enact any of Gov. Rauner’s structural changes like lawsuit reform, freezing property taxes and term limits which could help turn our state around.”===

    Hello “ck”,

    Remember that thoughtful analysis when people are picketing and chanting about… The Rauner Cuts.

    Your boss, the Governor, will own “The Rauner Cuts”.

    You can’t save him. It doesn’t work that way.

    The Rauner Cuts could devastate people. That’s on a governor making choices.

    Always has been, always will be, and The Rauner Cuts will be something Bruce Rauner will decide to inflict.

    Your Pal,


  3. - Randolph - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:51 am:

    Rich, your “Putting human faces on line items” segments have really touched my heart, and have drastically changed my views on the budget situation in Illinois. I hope you’ll continue with these stories.

    If there was an award for outstanding blogging / journalism exposing problems like this, I hope you win it.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:52 am:

    ===”…passed another phony budget that is $4 billion out of balance while refusing to enact any of Gov. Rauner’s structural changes like lawsuit reform, freezing property taxes and term limits which could help turn our state around.”===

    “Dear families struggling with Autism,

    We are cutting Autism funding because Governor Rauner wants Right to Work Zones passed.

    Too bad Autism families.


    The Rauner Cuts”

    Right? Exactly right.

  5. - Joe M - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:55 am:

    Wordslinger is right, the Gov, CK and the rest of his staff never mention Rauner’s budget that even with the draconian cuts - is still short by about $3 Billions. That leads me to believe that with Rauner, it not about the budget at all - is about getting his anti-union, pro-business agenda passes at all costs.

  6. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:58 am:

    “Pass my turnaround agenda, or the weak and infirm get it!”

  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:58 am:

    My point?

    Pick ANY… any of these “Turnaround Agenda” items, choose any… it’s literally holding hostage real people because Rauner and his Crew are arbitrarily choosing… choosing… the parameters of the release of the hostages.

    I’m mocking this idea of these “three” Agenda pieces will open the funding flood gate.

    Don’t get me started on Rauner’s $3 billion budget hole abd phony budget Rauner and his Crew ignore…

  8. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 8:59 am:

    “Oh heck, the weak and infirm will get it either way. Heads I win, tails you lose.”

  9. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:00 am:

    ===Right? Exactly right.===

    It’s a certain kind of courage to be able to repeatedly issue fantastical statements to the press.

  10. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:14 am:

    Translation of the governor’s response:

    Rauner couldn’t care less about this or any other program that will seriously harm the poor and disabled. He’s more than happy to hold autistic children hostage to get his pro business/anti-union reforms, which don’t address current budget issues at all.


  11. - Just saying... - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:34 am:

    Ummm…since when are the truly needy the “political class”?

    CK needs to alter the talking points when they don’t make sense.

    BTW - Wordslinger has a point…I just do not understand why the DEMS are not pounding on the fact that Rauner has no budget or more to the point he too has proposed a deficit budget. when I remind my hard core GOP supporters of this point they suddenly take a more passive position.

    Eventually Rauner will have to take responsibility for his actions or inaction’s despite the millions he and the other 1%’s spend on propaganda.

  12. - Apocalypse Now - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    If Haine, Hoffman, Beiser, Clayborne, and Jackson had voted for some restraint on spending over the last 12 years and not voted for the failed Quinn pension fix(?), the state wouldn’t be in this mess and this women wouldn’t see her child impacted. Maybe, they could show some real leadership and vote for an increase in taxes and send it to Rauner. Interestingly, Jerry Costello II wasn’t at this event.

  13. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    Governor Scrooge can’t help the needy because he values costs over anything others may value.

    Bruce Rauner helps others only after he satisfies himself first. He is now being a governor, so its all about the costs of being the kind of governor he thinks he needs to be.

    Sorry about those needy people - he really wants to help and feels bad about that.

    But that cost is more important.

  14. - Rod - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    The TAP program cuts are one among many that are being proposed to be cut. The people of Illinois elected Bruce Rauner and now they too own the cuts. In fact the Governor’s team is correct to argue Democrat responsibility for much of the fiscal disaster we have are faced with. Do not count on the people of Illinois rising up in righteousness against the cuts as long as the promise by the Governor on low taxes is kept.

    Most Illinoisans do not have children on the autism spectrum and the TAP is disability specific. I am not sure the concern for other families’ children will create a willingness to increase taxes for many voters. iIt’s irrelevant whether the Governor owns up to the cuts, the people who elected him had a general understanding that the budget would be dramatically cut he discussed that in general terms during the campaign. The Rauner voters too own these cuts, just like the Wisconsin voters own the destruction of public sector unions there. I have no clue how this will end up, but the idea that if the responsibility for the cuts is hung on the Governor it will some how change the situation seems delusional.

  15. - walker - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    Some people can understand the governor’s response for what it says: “I had to make these spending cuts because the Dems didn’t give me a budget — with enough money to spend.”

  16. - Tough Guy - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    Couldn’t the Rauner folks just put their cookie cutter response on their voice mail, reply emails, and as the only response for FAQ’s on the governor’s web page? Sure would free up time for his staff to really try to fix the situation rather than waste their time saying the same thing over and over again by a staffer.

  17. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    Walker, you need to add a couple of words:

    “I had to make these spending cuts because the Dems didn’t give me a budget — with enough money to spend, but then neither did my budget.”

  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    ===If Haine, Hoffman, Beiser, Clayborne, and Jackson had voted for some restraint on spending over the last 12 years and not voted for the failed Quinn pension fix(?),…===

    “Who’s” pension fix?

    Quinn, the governor?

    Governors own. They all always do.

    Thanks for making my point for me, as you contradict yourself…

  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    Touché, OW.

  20. - horse w/ no name - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    We can’t afford this life-altering program for people in need because, you know, tort reform and term limits.

    I wonder how many people will have to get hurt before they realize how bad this strategy is.

  21. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    That is the Governor’s response to every question. I wonder if that is because he has no viable response to such questions? If so, is it because he doesn’t care or isn’t interested in the situation?

  22. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    === The Rauner voters too own these cuts … ===

    Then those voters shouldn’t mind seeing the effects of their choices on their HDTV’s.

  23. - Tournaround Agenda - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    I love how ck’s response completely ignores the people in need to talk about the Tournaround Agenda some more.

  24. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    When July 1 arrives, could we start sweeping Illinois’ shadow budget, those special funds, again. Of course, the cuts in this program have not been made yet, but should they threaten to actually happen, it’s important to keep the special funds in mind. When we talk about cuts, we need to look everywhere. And the special funds are a pretty big part of everywhere in the state kitty.

  25. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 11:23 am:


    The special funds aren’t an endless supply of money. They took a bunch this year. Also, when you collect money for a specific purpose it become a little dubious to spend the money on things for which the money has not been collected. Think, for example, revenue from special license plates. I don’t think you give money for those plates for it to be used on something else

  26. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 11:42 am:


    I would never have a special license plate. But if the govt wants to give it to the autistic kids, that’s fine with me.

  27. - SICK OF IT - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    Amazing…….all of a sudden Hoffmann and Claybourne are interested in the “most fragile” of our Illinois citizens. When the past DHS Department under Quinn was moving our Murray residents to very unsafe homes, and one died, we received NO support from either of them….and all of a sudden they care…..give me a break!!!

  28. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    When the cookie cutter response is given PRIOR to the news conference….

    I guess this is Rauner’s idea of listenin’ and compromisin’.

  29. - Politix - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 1:43 pm:

    Um either Gov’s press folks aren’t reading properly or they don’t believe we can read. Ridiculous, lazy, insensitive non-response.

    Cassandra: You say you want autistic kids to benefit from their special funds but that’s not what happens when those funds are swept, which you also seemed to be encouraging. They take funds set aside for one thing and use them to patch budget holes. Bad policy.

  30. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    None of those things listed that Madigan is refusing to do would bring in money for autism…

    As an aside, it would be n ice if some media folks, such as the tribune et all started pointing out that since we had the second highest growth rate for business, there does not seem to be any need for any of Rauners reforms…in fact when your leading the nation I wouldn’t mess with what we are doing, we might make it worse.

  31. - Mama - Tuesday, Jun 23, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    It is my understanding that 1 out of every 67 children have some form of autism.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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