Some of the smaller cuts in the governor’s proposed state budget may be as harmful as the larger ones, according to Democratic legislators. Several state lawmakers gathered Monday at Chicago preschool The Children’s Place, which serves children with health problems such as heart ailments, epilepsy and HIV, to object to it potentially being cut off from state funding. The governor’s budget proposal would eliminate the organization’s $390,000 state grant, and State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) says it’s one of many examples of programs that could be eliminated around the state if the budget was adopted as is.
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“Budgets are really moral documents,” Steans said. “There’s been a lot of talk about needing to competitive and compassionate in Illinois. I don’t see how this kind of a budget is demonstrating either of those issues, quite frankly.”
Steans, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, is promising to fight for restored funding for the school and other child care and early childhood programs in the final budget.
As an alternative to these cuts, some legislators are encouraging the governor to consider tax increases.
“I think we need to be clear that the choice is between finally asking the Bruce Rauners of the world to pay their fair share to our state budget and cutting programs like this one,” said State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago).