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Friday, March 21, 2014

State of Illinois 2014/2015 Budget - drastic cuts to social services - evaluated by Access Living (CIL) of Chicago

as shared by our colleagues at Access Living ....

Dear Access Living friends and allies,
Today, we heard sobering news about the future of the Illinois state budget for next year. On Wednesday, the Governor will release the state’s proposed budget, but today, heads of several state agencies testified before our legislators on the possible cuts they may have to make…if legislators don’t take action.
The following summary is by State Senator Heather Steans from her constituent update. Senator Steans is the chair of one of the Senate’s budget committees.
“If legislators run out the clock and allow the income tax rate to fall from the current five percent to 3.75 percent, state government will see a $2.4 billion shortfall for the fiscal year that runs from July 2014 to July 2015. In order to balance the budget, many state agencies would have to cut their budgets by as much as 20 percent. 
The likely consequences include eliminating: 
  • -child care subsidies for 23,000 children 
  • -in-home help for 12,000 senior citizens 
  • -mental health services for 40,000 individuals 
  • -MAP scholarships for 30,000 college students 
  • -shelter and assistance for 11,000 victims of domestic abuse 
  • -an estimated 13,000 teaching positions in local school districts 
  • -necessary services for 3,700 victims of rape 
  • -treatment for more than 10,000 people with substance abuse disorders 
  • -educational and job-training programs for inmates 
  • -jobs for 10,000 home care workers
  • -all Illinois State Police forensic labs 
  • -medications for 400 individuals living with HIV/AIDS 
  • -breast and cervical cancer screenings for 6,000 low-income women”
As you can see, many of the above possible cuts affect people with disabilities. Next week, Access Living will be asking YOU to help step up and tell our legislators that we need to extend the temporary income tax increase so that it stays at five percent. Take this weekend to consider what YOU will do to help prevent the cuts.
Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living

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