As IIlinois moves into its fifth month without a state budget, the Homewood-Flossmoor Area League of Women Voters has joined with other independent organizations hoping a Nov. 18 meeting of legislative leaders will begin serious discussions to end the deadlock.
The Homewood-Flossmoor Area League of Women Voters is one of the local chapters of the League of Women Voters of Illinois that joined with eight other organizations calling for a meeting.
In addition, more than 200 organizations have come together as the Responsible Budget Coalition urging legislators to break the impasse.
The Nov. 18 meeting was originally to take place at the Union League Club, but Gov. Bruce Rauner has since said it would be in his office and he would set the agenda.
According to an Illinois Public Radio report: “Rauner himself has been downplaying the November meeting, telling a crowd in Rock Island this week that he doesn’t expect it to result in a budget agreement.”
Both sides are deadlocked on how to work through Rauner’s “turn-around agenda.” Democrats say much of what the governor wants to do will hurt Illinois workers and local taxing districts, and none of his proposals do anything to get Illinois out of its pressing budget woes that need immediate attention. The governor argues the changes will help stimulate job growth leading to new revenue for Illinois’ budget.
In a letter sent to the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, H-F League co-presidents Erin Roeper and Syvia Tillman wrote:
“Governor Rauner and the General Assembly were elected to govern, not to hold the most vulnerable in our state hostage to political ideology.
“Governing requires discussion and compromise in order to find solutions the legislature is willing to pass and the Governor is willing to sign. We implore state leaders to pass a budget now that includes sufficient revenue and no additional cuts, not when it works into a political time table.
“The damage being done to our citizens due to a lack of a budget is life altering, if not life threatening. Voices for Illinois Children, a fellow member in the Responsible Budget Coalition, compiled a recent report laying out the devastating impact of the budget impasse on senior services, mental health provision, early intervention programs for children, after school programs, autism services, domestic violence shelters, oil and conservation work, and services to homeless families, to name a few. The domino effect of further delay on lost jobs and vital services only plunges our state further into economic turmoil.
“It is time to get down to the work of governing. We are counting on you to show what civics in action looks like, Gov. Rauner, Speaker (Michael) Madigan, House Republican Leader (Jim) Durkin, Senate President (John) Cullerton, Senate Republican Leader (Christine) Radogno and everyone in the General Assembly. What are you teaching our children?”