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Hoffman, Greenwood: Time to Make Tough Decisions, Balance the Budget to Protect Critical Services

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – State Reps. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, and LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, are urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to put people ahead of politics and do what’s necessary to balance the budget. The legislators stood with local service providers and recipients Wednesday saying that they were ready to do whatever is necessary to end the budget crisis, even if that means taking difficult votes that would include cuts and passing a revenue plan that requires the wealthy to pay their fair share and closes loopholes on big corporations.

“I am ready and willing to take the difficult votes necessary to end this stalemate and put together a full, responsible and balanced budget that will ensure those in need get the care they deserve,” Hoffman said. “The governor has said that he knows a balanced budget will require cuts and new revenue, but he refuses to make his multi-millionaire friends and big corporations pay their fair share. I’m ready to do what’s necessary. As more than one million people have lost critical services as a direct result of the governor’s budget crisis, there’s too much at stake to continue on the current path.”

Hoffman and Greenwood indicated they will do what it takes to get a long-term balanced budget, including cuts and support of proposals that would require the wealthy and profitable corporations to pay more.

“We cannot avoid hard decisions simply because we don’t like the politics associated with them,” Greenwood said. “The price of inaction continues to be felt in our community every day. The governor and his wealthy insider friends prefer crisis to the tough realities of balancing the budget, but ultimately we need to put the middle class and families in need first.”

Hoffman and Greenwood were joined Wednesday by leaders of social service organizations and community members who rely on these services, backing the legislators’ call to do what is necessary to end the budget crisis.

“My husband relies on the professional care that is offered to him through Golden Years Adult Day Care Center,” Paula Williams said. “I’m not sure what we would do if we were unable to take him there due to the budget. It’s refreshing to see leaders like Representative Hoffman and Representative Greenwood who are willing to do the right thing.”

“It’s critical that lawmakers step up and make the tough decisions necessary to end this destructive budget impasse and move forward,” Caritas Family Solutions CEO Gary Huelsmann said. “Too many social service agencies have been forced to cut services or even close their doors because they have not received sufficient funding. Agencies that help people with core, essential services are part of the solution, not the problem. We need bi-partisan support to do what is right for all people, especially those in need of professional help. Investing in the community and the people is the right thing to do. We appreciate the efforts by Representatives Hoffman and Greenwood to help spread this message.”

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