SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, released the following statement on the 700th day that the State of Illinois has gone without a budget under Bruce Rauner’s administration:
“Each day that goes by that we don’t have a budget, we dig a deeper and deeper hole for our state to climb out of. Unpaid bills rack up, compiling interest that will cost taxpayers more money in the long-run. Higher educational institutions are being decimated by budget cuts—in fact, just yesterday in my district, Northeastern Illinois University laid off 180 employees. Rauner’s impasse is causing a great amount of economic uncertainty and instability, holding back economic growth that is sorely needed across the state.
“Aside from the economic consequences, we cannot lose sight of the human cost of the impasse. Social service agencies have been forced to make debilitating cuts and our neighborhood schools are facing the prospect of not being able to open their doors this fall.
“Clearly, the legislature and governor have more work to do. House Democrats are committed to working through the summer to do whatever it takes to find common ground and pass a balanced budget that is fair to middle-class taxpayers.
“As we continue to negotiate on a full budget, House Democrats believe we need to offer relief to the people who have been hit hardest by this impasse. That’s why we passed a lifeline budget to use available state funds that are collecting dust to fund programs like Meals on Wheels, programs for victims of domestic abuse, breast cancer screenings and to fund higher educational institutions. Residents shouldn’t continue to suffer because the governor has refused to do his job.
“While a lifeline budget will offer much-needed relief, our ultimate goal is to craft a full, balanced budget. House Democrats know that the only way to do this is through cooperation and compromise. That is why every member of our caucus signed a letter urging the governor to return to the negotiating table.
“Since we sent our letter, we have yet to receive a response from the governor and he has refused to meet with House negotiators. Our state can’t afford to go any longer without a budget. It is time for the governor to do his job and work with us, so we can pass a balanced budget that will end this painful impasse.”