SPRINGFIELD, Ill.-- The budget cuts-- more than a billion dollars are the talk. Painful as it is.
In Springfield, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago: “We’re in a crisis in Illinois. Yes there is pain in the 2.25 across the board cuts but that pain is mitigated in that most of the funding is not coming from the vulnerable, fragile, people who depend on us to make it in this world.”
Barbara Flynn Currie is a Chicago democrat, not the type you’d expect to advocate for this type of thing but there seems to be little other choice.
Paul Hamann, CEO, The Night Ministry: “The impact is drastic.”
The Night Ministry, which helps many of the city’s homeless, including homeless youth, will see several thousand dollars cut over the next few months--and that’s just the start.
Paul Hamann, CEO, The Night Ministry: “There’s a lot of agencies out there that cannot sustain any more cuts. We’re already working at the barebones as it is so this is going to be devastating for a lot of organizations. And the people whom they serve.”
The current budget goes until the end of June and had a deficit of $1.6 billion.
Tuesday’s vote pulls $1.3 billion from special state funds, much of that is used for programs for the poor.
Another $150 million comes from education.
All told, most state programs will see a reduction of two and a quarter percent.
Paul Hamann, CEO, The Night Ministry: “I assume we’re cutting into the bone now. We’re into the marrow right now. It really concerns me for society and for the state as a whole. For lawmakers, it’s a lose-lose… after years of kicking the can down the road on pension reform and other state costs, the can has kicked back.
Rep. Jim Durkin, House Republican Leader: “We are here today to be the adults in the building. The house GOP, for the last two and a half months have been prepared to be the adults in the building and we will be adults today.”