Local Groups Speak Against Budget Cuts

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

As budget disagreements continue to plague the Illinois congress, our local state representatives are calling for more public input. Community groups that lose funding in the vetoed budget speak out Thursday night.
Many Illinois congress members are hoping for one more shot to change the state budget. That means overriding the governor's veto that cut 470-million dollars out of the budget, to fund universal healthcare in the state.
Thursday night State Representative Chuck Jefferson hosted a public forum to hear from the local groups that would lose funding from the cuts. They include Crusader Clinic, Ceasefire and several after school programs.
The governor called many of those programs pork and says they were added without hearings or review. He also says the budget increased this year and the cuts amount to less than one percent of the state's 50-billion dollar budget. But impacted community groups say every dollar counts.
"These monies are very necessary for some agencies mere existence," says Representative Jefferson.
"We need these kinds of programs in minority communities to offset some of the untoward behavior that's driven by the drug culture and poverty and crime and this is an alternative," adds Reverend Earl S. Dotson Sr., of Progressive West Rockford Community Development.
"What I've heard tonight is that it's all the governor's fault and it takes more than one person to get into a fight," counters Rockford Alderman Linda McNeely.
A Machesney Park trustee also came out to rally for capital funding for 173. The state's 10 billion dollar capital plan has already passed the senate, the house will vote on it in the next couple weeks.
Representative Jefferson says all those in favor of overriding the veto should contact Governor Blagojevich. As well as Senate President Emil Jones. Jones says he won't allow an override vote.


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