From Voices For Illinois Children
The legislature adjourned last week after passing most of the core elements of a state budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. But as they left the capitol, lawmakers also left behind as many unresolved questions as answers.
Our new budget Q&A provides more information about what last week’s budget action means – and what questions remain. These include:
Which vital services for children will be cut, and how deeply? This remains to be seen, as the Governor determines programs’ individual appropriations with the lump-sum amounts and sweeping budget powers given him by the General Assembly.
What are the budget’s new revenue sources? These are largely one-time dollars that will go away next year – and one or two significant revenue sources remain at least temporarily missing from legislators’ plans, not to mention more sustainable reforms.
What about other reforms? Beyond several cost-saving measures – such as taking-on furlough days and prohibiting cost-of-living increases for a variety of state officials – legislators set-aside several more fundamental reforms.
Too many of these questions still lack adequate answers. But while last week’s actions are troubling, our collective work towards a more responsible budget continues to have an impact.
Many policymakers remain concerned about the state’s overall fiscal picture and legislative champions are continuing to work with their colleagues towards passage of balanced, comprehensive revenue reforms. We must continue these efforts to ensure the well-being of children and families.