This March 10 letter was sent by Illinois Senator Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, who represents Flossmoor in the Illinois Legislature. She is asking residents to share their personal stories of how the Illinois budget impasse has affected them. The H-F Chronicle is sharing her message:
For the past two years, Illinois has operated without a completed budget, causing non-profits to shut their doors, college students to lose access to grants and working mothers to go without affordable child care.
Our budget impasse has led to massive cuts on the backs of people who can least afford it.
Last week, after months of negotiations with Senators on both sides of the aisle, movement on a bipartisan agreement to end the budget impasse grinded to a halt when the governor interjected himself and called off talks.
Every day we fail to act, Illinois digs itself $11 million deeper into debt and any potential solution becomes that much harder to implement.
There are those who wholeheartedly believe we should wait until after the next election before we act, seemingly ready to endorse another two years of the divisive kind of politics that has become all too common in Washington.
We cannot let last week’s setback derail us. Our backlog of overdue bills is now over $12 billion. The governor introduced a budget plan that is nearly $5 billion out of whack in addition to doing nothing to pay the $12 billion in overdue bills. Illinois cannot continue careening from crisis to crisis.
Help me continue this fight. If you know of an organization or an individual who has been personally affected by this budget impasse, I would love to hear your story. I will be publicly reading a story on the Senate floor every day this crisis continues. Those wanting to wait this out until after the election need to hear from real people who don’t care about politics but are being affected by politically manufactured nonsense.
It is an honor to represent you in Springfield. As always, if I can ever be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office.