Disappointed Senate Black Caucus reacts to budget address (UPDATED, VIDEO)

budgreax-blackcaucusThis afternoon in response to the governor’s budget address, Senate Black Caucus members expressed concerns about FY’16 budget priorities.

“Not funding education at a 100 percent rate again this year is simply unacceptable. Ninety-nine percent funding would not be enough, so the proposed 95 percent is certainly not adequate.”

“Yes, government leaders in positions of power hold many responsibilities, one of which is ensuring a thriving private sector, attractive to business and industry – but not to be forgotten are the awesome responsibilities of protecting and serving the people.” – State Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood 4th)

“Cutting services that uplift communities are not only a slap in the face, but it’s an attack on the lower and middle class. This irresponsible, smoke-and-mirrors budget balances our state’s debts on the backs of the neediest, but refuses to close corporate loopholes.” – State Senator Donne E. Trotter (D-Chicago 17th)

“I am outraged that the governor is knocking middle and lower-class families down when they are already facing tough economic circumstances. He’s putting lives and livelihoods in jeopardy by treating our state’s most vulnerable people like burdens.” – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago 3rd)

“This proposed budget would close doors of opportunity for youth in disadvantaged communities throughout the state.

“By cutting funding for anti-violence initiatives and services for wards of the state who face homelessness and exploitation when they turn 18, this administration signals that it is giving up on the tremendous potential within our young people struggling to emerge from difficult circumstances.

“And with one-third of higher education funding eliminated in the Rauner budget, young men and women who beat the odds and make it to college would face higher tuition, less assistance and fewer resources.” – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th)

“This budget leaves working families and local communities with little social services. It will cut supportive housing services, homeless youth services, emergency food programs, afterschool programs and many other critical services important to the state and my district. This proposal tries to balance a budget on the backs of working and vulnerable people. Not on businesses and our wealthy.

"I understand the governor has a tough task with passing a balanced budget, but this is not a solution to the issues we face. This budget cuts social services for people who need them most. It will be important as we move forward to work in a bipartisan fashion to address the shortcomings of this proposal.” - State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey 15th)

“The governor’s budget plan proposes draconian cuts to programs that people in my community desperately need,” Jones said. “His plan balances the budget on the backs of the poor, elderly, mentally ill and working families. This is the not the compassionate Illinois that he spoke of over the course of the last two years.

“His plan has cut after cut to safety net programs but no mention of closing corporate loopholes for his millionaire buddies. This budget cuts services for children with mental illness, homeless youth services and programs to help children with developmental disabilities. These cuts are simply unconscionable and don’t make Illinois better.

“I will fight for the people in my district because their voices clearly weren’t taken into account when this mess of a budget was drafted.” - State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago 14th)


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