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Voices warns about stopgap budget impact

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016

* From Emily Miller…

Hi Rich,

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

Thanks,

Emily Miller
Policy and Advocacy Director, Voices for Illinois Children

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - Earnest - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    The important thing is that the stopgap budget saved the state from the big income tax increase the democrats tried to impose with their $7m out of what budget.

    By growing business in this state and cutting waste and getting rid of those people getting rich off of Medicaid we’ll be able to afford to support human services.

    –I’d say this was snark, but this is what a Raunerite candidate said to me this very week.


  2. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    There have been so many one-off stories about the individual impacts of our state budget disaster.

    It’s good to see the Responsible Budget Coalition making the point that each of these “sad stories” represents just one of the million people in Illinois who have been harmed by our failure to pass a fully funded budget.

    Frankly, I’m surprised that no one has made the connection between the cutbacks and closures forced by the budget impasse and Illinois’ stubbornly high unemployment rate.


  3. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    The important thing is that the stopgap budget saved the state from the big income tax increase the democrats tried to impose with their $7m out of what budget.

    By growing business in this state and cutting waste and getting rid of those people getting rich off of Medicaid we’ll be able to afford to support human services.

    –I’d say this was snark, but this is what a Raunerite candidate said to me this very week.–

    That is so delusional and intensely frightening.


  4. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    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.

    Bruce Rauner views Illinois’ social service providers as nothing more than a political wedge issue — and wedges get hammered.

    – MrJM


  5. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    =There won’t even be enough money to pay for the full year PK-12 appropriation in the stopgap measure.=

    It amounts to an empty promise if there is no money.

    There were many sighs of relief when K-12 funding was approved but the reality is it was smoke and mirrors in more than one way.

    The GSA funding turned out to be less than full, but the media never got on to that, probably due to all of the others that were left without any funding.

    The fact is that schools are being forced to allocate additional dollars from GSA to special ed because the state miscalculated the figures, and if they do not force schools to make up for their error, Illinois will lose hundreds of millions or billions in federal flow through funds because they will not meet Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirements.

    In addition, schools are approving budgets right now without any real indication of transportation funding as well as some of the other mandated categoricals (MCATS).

    Regular and special ed transportation funding are big pots to fill for large geographic districts. Unit 5’s trouble can be directly linked to loss of transportation funding. That is why they changed start times and tried to rework their transportation system.

    We are all in big trouble if these guys do not do their job and get funding for a budget.


  6. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    Here’s another great video from the #OneInAMillionIL campaign. Nice work.

    https://vimeo.com/183559372


  7. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:12 am:

    There are few politicians seeing opportunities to solve this problem. The stop gap is a bad truce. No one will win until someone sees a chance to win.


  8. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    Talking about a “responsible plan to raise revenue” is a little too vague.What she’s really saying is, Illinois has to raise taxes. In practical terms, that means the state has to raise income taxes, since neither party seems interested in cutting anything–rather, the opposite. And that means raising the current flat income tax, because neither party seems interested in a major restructuring of the revenue system either. Plus, a major restructuring of anything seems way beyond the capacities of our political masters of both parties at the moment.

    So, is the plan to try to slip something through in the dark of night. That might not be wise in the long term. So community leaders need to stop beating around the bush. Spit it out. Back it up with facts. If it’s a fair argument, citizens will understand, even if they don’t agree.


  9. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    –leaders need to stop beating around the bush. Spit it out. Back it up with facts. If it’s a fair argument, citizens will understand, even if they don’t agree.–

    Well said Cassandra. I greatly appreciate the “face the music” approach.


  10. - Emily Miller - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    It seems that some are the impression that Voices for Illinois Children has not been upfront about the fact that the tax cut of 2015 lead directly to the lack of revenue available today. There are a variety of options lawmakers and the governor can choose from to fill that revenue gap, and I encourage everyone to take a look at this report to see many them: http://www.voices4kids.org/policymakers-can-choose-to-avoid-cuts-to-essential-services/

    Using the word responsible is hardly refusing to “face the music.” The fact is that there are ways to raise revenue that level the playing field for low and middle-income families, and then there are ways that only add to the disproportionately high percentage of their income that they pay in taxes across the board.

    I would classify revenue increases designed to be both sustainable and to have the tax load not disproportionately carried by low and middle income people as “responsible.”


  11. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 3:09 pm:

    Jeez, twice in one day I’ve miscommunicated. I thought Cassandra was talking about legislators. I just reread it and she was talking about community leaders? Loving God I’m sorry I misread that.

    Let me be clear.
    I think Legislators should face the music and raise taxes, raise revenue and save our social services.

    I’m laughing now because I thought it odd that I was agreeing with Cassandra.

    Again Emily Miller I so so respect your work and your incredible advocacy. Please accept my sincere apology.


  12. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 3:14 pm:

    Ms. Miller-

    I don’t disagree with you about the multiplicity of options, but I don’t think most of them realistic and many of them would be hugely controversial. Take taxation of retirement income and corporate loopholes. These come up every year and every year they fade away. I don’t see our current Illinois politicians as having the appetite for any major revenue overhauls. So, if money is needed, the most likely and realistic approach is to raise the tax that is already there, despite its flaws. And wait for Superman.


  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 6:26 pm:

    “Squeeze the beast” is the governor’s social agenda, no matter what anyone says.

    Actions vs. words.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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