Damage Done: Budget “Insanity” Harmed Southern Illinois

“The State Budget Has Caused so Many Crises for an Agency Like Ours”
 

Chicago, IL – Bruce Rauner’s budget “insanity” caused long-term harm to southern Illinois students and seniors. Students saw class sizes increase while the number of teachers decreased, and seniors saw meal delivery cut from five days a week to one. Here’s a look at the damage done:

Belleville News-Democrat: State political bickering led to local pain, local officials say at state budget forum
 
Schools districts, social service agencies and local governments felt the pain of the two-year budget impasse caused by political bickering, panel members said Thursday. […]
 
“It’s a juxtaposition to be in at the time the state budget has caused so many crises for an agency like ours, who are also a large employer, but we’re also facing the biggest growth of the largest segment of the population that will be around for the next 20 to 30 years,” [Senior Services Plus Director Jonathan] Becker said.
 
“The state, in essence, has manipulated the situation because of this budget impasse,” Becker said. “If your business would operate by providing goods and services at your cost and you don’t get paid, you take a loan out at a higher percentage than what you’re getting paid back for by the state. You’re so grateful when you get paid, you think that’s normalcy. It’s not, it’s insanity.”
 
He said when people don’t get mental health services, or after school services for students, there could be future costs.
 
“When you cut out safety nets for things, it costs us money down the road,” Becker said.

“Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis caused a ripple of local crises across the state, decimating schools, businesses, and our social safety net,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “After years of budget insanity, southern Illinois is still trying to clean up the damage done by Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership.”

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Michael Berger