At my previous job’s biannual all staff meeting, there was much discussion of what impact Illinois’s newly elected Governor Bruce Rauner would have on not only that organization, but all social services and public organizations across the state. Now we know. Governor Rauner did what many who work with and on behalf of marginalized and vulnerable communities were afraid of, announced plans to sharply decrease grant budgets for social services and public health programs. As Latino Policy Forum and many other organizations and news outlets have reported, Governor Rauner plans to reduce Illinois’s human services program budget by $26 million, including the elimination 28 important programs. You can find a full listing of budget cuts and appropriations here. These unconscionable budget cuts will severely impact immigrants, children and teens, people living with addictions, and people at risk of acquiring HIV. Balancing the state budget should not be made on the backs of Illinois’s most vulnerable communities!! How about vastly decreasing the Illinois Department of Corrections budget and using those saved dollars to fill the state’s budget gap?!
As you can see from the Latino Policy Forum link I provided, there will be actions taking place tomorrow and Thursday at the Thompson Center on 100 West Randolph Street, hosted by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Access Living. Also flood the phone of your legislator and demand that they support the full funding of these vital programs! It is not the fault of youth, immigrants, poor individuals and families, and people living with addictions that Illinois is facing a budget crisis, and they should not be the ones shouldering the burden of budget cuts.