Members of the Responsible Budget Coalition came together in Rockford, before Rauner's speech on Wednesday, to draw attention to what they called the "weak State of our State." They released a new report outlining the harm being done due to the failure of state policymakers to put a budget first that chooses revenue over cuts to families and communities.
Kelly Anne Ohde, Director of Communications for Easter Seals let policymakers know why passing a responsible budget needs to be done immediately.
"Children and families... they are being hurt right now. If policymakers don't pass a responsible budget soon, our families and communities may never fully recover."
Anita Rumage, Executive Director for Circles of Learning Day Care Center, reminded the Governor and lawmakers that they didn't have to hurt children and families because they could be choosing revenue instead.
"The reality is that, without a state budget, services for families, the elderly, homeless, and children are being harmed and severely cut back. Cutting programs is not the answer. We need to choose revenue."
Rumage also reminded the state leaders that when our communities suffer, we all suffer.
"The budget impasse affects all of us."
Ben Slack, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation, which provides medication and specialized care for patients throughout northern Illinois, said the nonprofit has lost about 60 percent of its funding during the impasse. The organization has lost 50 percent of its staff and has had to discontinue its emergency medication program.
"Most of our families need to go to Madison, go to Chicago, leave the state to get care," Slack said.
Rockford "State of Our State" News Coverage
New Must-Read Report
Read the new Responsible Budge Coalition report "State of Our State: Failure to Invest in Families and Communities Is Weakening Illinois."