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State Senator Daniel Biss (D – Evanston) released a statement today in response to starting the new fiscal year without a state budget.
“Today we put an unnecessary and completely avoidable burden on our State workers, community service providers, and the most vulnerable Illinoisans – indeed, on the whole State. When people lose their jobs, we can count on less state revenue to fund critical services, while more Illinoisans will need State services.
“As people are deprived of social services, we can expect to provide higher cost care such as emergency room visits and nursing home admittance, putting even greater pressure on our already diminishing revenues in addition to the real danger many will face without a safety net.
“This is not hypothetical. People lost their jobs today. People have already been told they can no longer get the services they depend on to make it from one day to the next. Without swift and meaningful action, we have failed our citizens, putting Illinois into a state of crisis.
“We need real leadership now more than ever. We need a leader who is interested in protecting the State and its citizens, not using the most vulnerable as human shields or a state of crisis as a bargaining chip. We needed leadership months ago. But today the State pays the price. I stand ready to work with anyone to resolve this responsibly and swiftly.”
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement today, July 1, on the House’s plans to pass an essential services budget aimed at preventing or minimizing a service shutdown that would disrupt the lives of many middle-class families.
“The number one issue facing the state of Illinois right now is the budget. In the days ahead, I will work to pass a short-term spending plan to see that the lives of struggling and middle-class families are not disrupted.
“In light of the governor’s unwillingness to work with the Legislature to pass a budget that adequately funds important state services, today the House tried to pass an essential services budget to avoid a shutdown of state government. My goal is to avoid a shutdown of core, critical services. I believe that should be the top priority of the governor and the Legislature at this moment.
“Since January, I have said a budget that protects the middle class and vulnerable residents would require a balanced approach that includes spending cuts and revenue. Rejecting a balanced approach in favor of a budget that focuses on cuts alone will negatively impact middle-class families and severely harm the medical care services of the elderly, the disabled and struggling families, services for victims of child abuse, and nursing home care for thousands of frail elderly residents.
“Despite the governor’s lack of cooperation on the budget, in the spirit of compromise, the House has debated several non-budget issues and given each a fair hearing. The property tax freeze, including the governor’s own proposal, received five chances to pass. Each time, the issue received little support from House Republicans. The House passed a compromise bill to help employers save on workers’ compensation costs and we passed a bill to privatize a portion of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity at the governor’s request.
“My focus remains on passing a budget that takes a balanced approach and includes spending reductions and revenue to preserve the services that the people of Illinois expect the state to deliver.”