The strategy of weekly “committees of the whole” in the Illinois House is working, says the Speaker.
“I think we're making progress, because the people of Illinois are getting an opportunity to fully understand what is at issue: the public in general is becoming very much aware of the governor's advocacy of these non-budget issues which go against the core beliefs of Democrats and Republicans,” House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) told reporters, as providers and clients told stories in the House chamber of the impact of the LIHEAP utility assistance program being suspended.
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“Some of the cuts that are being made will make a difference in if my wife and I can pick up our medications,” said Jacob Copple of Standard City. “I don't like the idea of needing assistance, but without it, we cannot even function as a small family unit.” Copple says the economy of his area, in south central Illinois, is not great to begin with.
The irony, said a social service leader, is that people who are supposed to be helping the needy are being laid off, only adding to the ranks of Illinois' needy.