After two years of unending Springfield war between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan, a lot of folks have grown numb to the human cost. But not the Responsible Budget Coalition.
The social services group this afternoon released a list of who’s taking it in the ear and how badly, and it’s ugly.
Like the 22,000 seniors outside of Chicago who have lost access to home-delivered meals and transportation. Or $2.3 billion in cuts in higher education, cuts that have clobbered mid-range schools like Southern, Eastern and Western Illinois University, and Chicago State University.
Or the tuition grants for 130,000 college students of modest means that again are unfunded, or the 47,000 fewer kids receiving affordable child care so their parents can be productive and hold down a job.
Other items on a disturbing list: No new money for domestic abuse programs since June of last year, 24,000 fewer people admitted to addiction treatment programs at a time of opioid abuse and a 50 percent cut in adult literacy programs.
No, I haven’t personally vetted these services or done the math myself. But if the toll is even half this—and I don’t hear officials on either side of the war denying it—this situation is a disgrace.
Read it yourself, folks. Then think about calling your lawmaker and governor to get them off the dime. As I reported in my column over the weekend about why progress is stalled on sensible plans to sell the James R. Thompson Center in the Loop and add new lanes in I-55 (the Stevenson Expressway), something has to change.
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April 3, 2017 at 05:03PM