Cease Fire Funding Cut for Early 2005 After Fall Veto Session

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The fall veto session leaves Cease Fire Rockford with no funding. Just as their movement was picking up positive steam, Cease Fire has their state funds cut.

The governor's office promised Cease Fire Rockford funding twice a year, but as 23 News learned, their funding for the first half of 2005 didn't come through.

It's a move that could make Cease Fire cease to exist, unless the city and/or Winnebago County can find some dollars before the end of the year.

Cease Fire Rockford was expected to receive $245,000 for the first half of 2005. The money would have expanded the non-violence program to 15 neighborhoods.

If no additional dollars comes in, coordinator Ralph Hawthorne says the local group will have to fold. Without state funding, Hawthorne will contact Mayor Doug Scott and Winnebago County to see if any dollars can be allocated to keep the program afloat.

The leader says he's still optimistic in a solution, but admits the cut from Springfield is a major disappointment.

"With all the statistics and all the data showing how much of an impact this project keeps making in the state, particularly in Chicago, that's where this data is coming from, I would have thought the state would have saw in the value in finding some dollars," Hawthorne comments.

Rev. Hawthorne will meet with Cease Fire state leaders in Chicago on Monday for an emergency meeting.

Then on Tuesday, local Rep. Chuck Jefferson will speak with Gov. Blagogevich during his stop in Rockford.

WIFR will update you on this story as new information becomes available.