SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – During an Appropriations-Public Safety Committee hearing last week, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, expressed the necessity of restoring funding to the CeaseFire program to fellow lawmakers. The program plays a major role in countering violence through outreach efforts by workers visiting communities and engaging residents.

“Gov. Rauner recently mentioned that he wanted to cut ‘wasteful state spending,’ and the critical, life-saving CeaseFire program fell victim to those cuts,” said Harper. “This program saves lives, and prevents families from being torn apart by gun violence. We have a responsibility to restore funding to this vital program, and not let it be used as a part of the governor’s negotiating tactics to pass his anti-working family agenda.”

The CeaseFire program curbs violence in some of Chicago’s most at-risk neighborhoods. CeaseFire outreach workers visit communities affected by gun violence and work with residents to find stable jobs and treatment for drug abuse. Through executive order issued by Gov. Rauner in 2015, state funding for the program was suspended. The governor’s subsequent budget proposals have also eliminated funding for the service. Meanwhile, violent crime in Chicago and other communities in Illinois has risen sharply, gaining national attention. Harper was among the legislators on the committee that demanded that the governor’s administration restore funding for CeaseFire immediately.

“Last month the governor requested that the General Assembly helps him reduce the violence taking place in Illinois, but he refuses to fund this critical program,” said Harper. “To save lives, connect people to potential employment, grant security and help people turn away from violence, programs like CeaseFire must be funded.”

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

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Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5971
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District Office:
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Chicago, IL  60609
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