Advocates for Low-Income Children Say Don't Celebrate Illinois' New Budget Just Yet

Jul 17, 2017

Illinois' budget stalemate is over but those who work with children in the state say a lot of ground was lost while lawmakers disagreed.

The budget stalemate caused a homeless shelter for teens to close in Hardin County in February. Voices for Illinois Children president Tasha Green-Cruzat says it's going to be hard for some to bounce back from that.
 
"Where are those kids right now, I'd like to know. Those kids that need that service to have a place to lay their heads and have shelter and food. Where are those kids today?"
 
Green-Cruzat wants to make sure the problems Illinois faces aren't ignored just because lawmakers agreed on a budget.
 
"Everyone's poppin' the champaign but wait, hold up. There's families and kids that have been damaged by this, so let's not rest on our laurels right now."
 
The Illinois House on July 6th voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a budget package. That action gave Illinois its first annual spending plan since 2015.

Illinois' backlog of bills is at nearly $15 billion. Green-Cruzat says the state comptroller will have to prioritize who gets paid first and that means it will be awhile before funding to critical programs is restored.