The latest budget passed by the Illinois General Assembly is causing a DEEP divide.
Traditionally a column starting with that sentence is discussing the two main political parties in the U.S.A. --- but this time it is the residents of the Land of Lincoln against the state legislature. And, to borrow a coined phrase, it ain't pretty.
In times of economic troubles, all parties are worried about money. Residents are praying they can keep their jobs or find new ones to replace the ones they have lost or are losing. Government officials are grinding their teeth as they crunch numbers, and legislators are clashing as often as ever over what money is coming in, what money can be spent, and where to spend the money which comes in from taxpayers and the U.S. government. And in the middle of it all is a man who is charged with leading all of those parties --- following two "leaders" who were riddled with scandal --- Governor Pat Quinn.
Governor Quinn doesn't want to be known as a governor who lost control before he really had it. It appears he's been doing as much as he can during his tenure in the Governor's office and has offered solutions to a difficult balancing act: the next fiscal budget. Yet as his budget proposals were discussed in General Assembly committees, they were combing it over, dissecting it, and then "enhancing" it to the point that it no longer looked like the proposal Governor Quinn had given the legislature. In fact, the cuts the state senators and representatives decided upon make Quinn's budget pages look like baby swiss cheese. The state government would lose about 10-thousand jobs alone. That's the state of Illinois' payroll going down at the same time that the rest of the state finds it more difficult to do business with some agencies --- especially those who look for "customer service" in social service agencies. The proposal which came out of the General Assembly and eventually the president of the Illinois senate will cause literally tens of thousands of job losses before August the governor is forced to sign the current version of the General Assembly's budget.
So, if you're the parents, the siblings, the actual state residents who stand to lose their jobs or training from the drastic funding cuts to social service agencies and programs, NOW is the time to stand up and call the legislators and the media.
Which will get you better results?
Call your local newspaper, radio station and especially TV stations --- and let them know how upset you are that they're cutting services to the weakest among us: those with disabilities and the elderly, as well as children.
Perhaps they'll give this some daily coverage until a new budget - with a temporary and slight tax increase is included to alleviate the problem - helps restore the funding to so many of the public and private concerns which HELP these citizens.