Governor Bruce Rauner’s Cuts
Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed draconian cuts over the past few months to our state budget. He plans to balance the budget on the backs of middle and lower class families by scaling back aid and eliminating entire programs that could lead to higher property taxes, higher college tuition costs and drastic cuts to programs that help our most vulnerable residents.
- Addiction Prevention – $1.6 million
- Autism – $1 million
- Teen REACH – $3.1 million
- Criminal justice services – 50% reduction
- Medicaid – $1.47 billion
Health & Family Services
- Nursing homes – $65 million
- Early Intervention Program – $23 million
- AIDS/HIV services – $6.0 million
- Breast & Cervical Cancer Screening Program – $9.8 million (71%)
- Managed care (funding hospitals receive to coordinate patient care) – $60 million
- Child support and department operations – $12.5 million
Eliminating Crucial Services
- Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps keep families safe by assisting with energy costs.
- Youth employment and violent prevention programs
- Developmental disability programs and services: Best Buddies, Project Autism, Arc of Illinois, epilepsy services, dental services and respite care
- Mental health programs: Child and Youth Mental Health Lockout Services and the Psychiatric Leadership Grant
- Supportive housing services, homeless youth services, emergency food programs and teen parents services
Senate Democrat’s Proposal:
Cash-strapped working families are our economic engine. Instead of balancing the budget on their backs, we need to open doors of opportunity by making college more affordable, offering better wages and protecting crucial services that keep families afloat.
While Governor Rauner sees the budget as numbers on a sheet, I believe we need to focus on Main Street rather than Wall Street.
Senate Democrats are proposing the following:
- Tuition Tax Credit. Qualified parents or students who are Illinois residents can claim a tax credit for higher education expenses incurred at any qualified public or private university, community college, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution located in Illinois.
- Increasing the minimum wage. Increases the state minimum wage to $9.00 on July 1, 2015 and by $0.50 each year thereafter until the minimum wage reaches $11.00 on July 1, 2019. Provides a three-year tax credit for employers with less than 50 employees.
- Illinois College Promise Program. Covers tuition and mandatory fees for up to two years at any of the state’s 48 community colleges so long as the student continues to meet all applicable eligibility requirements.
- Healthy Workplace Act. Guarantees up to seven paid days of sick time to full and part time employees. Sick time would accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees would not be able to take sick time for the first 120 days of employment
- Corporate loopholes. Ends a variety of corporate tax breaks including corporations ability to automatically receive a tax breaks for production outside of Illinois. Closing these loopholes will bring the state $334 million.
- Providing youth employment and violent prevention services. Creating youth employment summer programs and internships offers young people economic independence and stability. Violence prevention programs keep teens and young adults off the street and out of harm’s way. These services are a matter of life and death for residents in areas of high crime.
- Protecting crucial health and human services. Keeping child care centers open and protecting LIHEAP from being suspended on July 1.