* From Emily Miller…
With the election in full swing, it’s easy to forget the details regarding the devastating impact the budget impasse continues to have. The Responsible Budget Coalition’s #OneinaMillion campaign is tapping its members (whose numbers now top 300) to share stories about how the lack of a fully funded year-long budget is impacting our state.
Today Voices weighs in by asking and answering the question, “What is going on with the Illinois budget?”
The “stopgap” measure from this summer actually cut programs for children and families by about a third from previous spending levels. It also adds to our back bills, and Illinois will owe over $10 billion by January 1. Worse, the measure doesn’t fund programs for the full fiscal year. On January 1, 2017, Human Services and Higher Education will be back to square one with no budget and no money available to keep programs running. There won’t even be enough money to pay for the full year PK-12 appropriation in the stopgap measure.
Lawmakers and the governor have two choices when they return to Springfield after the election: They can either keep spending money we don’t have, adding to the backlog of unpaid bills, or they can choose to develop a responsible plan to raise revenue for a balanced budget.
For those who’d like a visual aid: https://twitter.com/Voices4ILKids/status/780769070375469056
Policy and Advocacy Director, Voices for Illinois Children