EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill – Concerned by the damaging impact of the budget impasse, state Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislators to return to the negotiating table immediately in order to put forth a responsible, balanced and honest budget.
“Every day we go without a budget, I hear about the continued struggles of seniors, survivors of domestic violence and other vulnerable residents as a result,” Greenwood said. “The job is not done for anybody in Springfield. Despite the fact the Senate passed a budget plan, too much of it relies on unrealistic savings and deep cuts to essential services that residents rely on. It is unconscionable that we continue to go down this path, and I strongly believe it will take a bipartisan effort from both chambers to put forth a responsible, balanced plan.”
Greenwood and House appropriations committees have continued to review the budget proposal from the Senate, and are concerned about the long-term costs associated with the plan. In order to be balanced, the Senate’s plan relies on savings projected by large items that are not in effect and will require further negotiation, including a pension reform bill and changes to the state’s employee insurance program. Additionally, the proposal enables billions of dollars in new borrowing without addressing a way to repay the debt. Greenwood is alarmed that such budgetary gimmicks will cost taxpayers in the long-term.
In the short-term, Greenwood is concerned that the Senate proposal slashes too much funding for essential services. Children with developmental disabilities, women who need life-saving breast cancer screenings and students who depend on MAP grants to receive an education would be impacted under the planned cuts.
“We cannot push through an irresponsible spending plan just to say that we have a budget and our work is done,” Greenwood said. “I stand ready to make the tough decisions necessary to end this crisis, but it will now take compromise and votes from both sides of the aisle. I encourage my colleagues and the governor to stop the political games and come to the table to get the job done.”