Leaders Update
June 16, 2017

Please share the message below today with your members, community partners and all other contacts on your email lists. A special legislative session has been called to solve the budget crisis. The short message to share widely is:
"We need a fully funded, year-long budget with new, permanent revenue that will stop the cuts, repair the damage that has been done, and make smart investments for the future."
Call your State Representative today and insist that she/he vote to pass a budget for FY 2017 and to make whole schools and social service providers which did not receive appropriations in FY 2016. Find contact information for your state legislators here:  http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/ 

To raise money to fund the budget ask them to:
  • Raise state income tax rates
  • Expand the sales tax base to include services
  • Refinance the state's debt and pension obligations
  • Tax retirement income
  • Impose a tax on financial transactions.

Ask them to oppose a property tax freeze for local governments and school districts. 
If you want to share additional information, here are facts about the impact of having no budget for the last two years:

The State of Illinois does not have a budget for Fiscal Year 2017, except for General State Aid for education which has run out. It does not have enough money to pay its bills and currently has $14.5 billion in unpaid bills. Dire consequences could result if the current crisis is not quickly addressed, including:
  • Many public school districts, Kindergarten through Grade 12, do not have enough money to provide adequate and equitable education for their students.
  • School districts may not receive all of the money that was appropriated for this school year. Categorical spending must wait in line with all of the other requests for payment that the state receives.
  • Where will school districts find revenues to replace the missing state appropriations?
  • The lack of a state budget results in suffering for the neediest Illinois citizens because service providers are forced to shrink services, lay off employees, or shut down altogether.
  • State schools of higher education will not receive state payments. Students who need financial aid from the state will not receive MAP (monetary award program) grants.

Public schools and other local governments rely on the property tax for an adequate and dependable source of revenue. Unless the state provides adequate and sufficient replacement monies, these taxing bodies will suffer great harm. 
Leaders, HERE is the letter our newly elected LWVIL President will send today to the Governor and state legislative leaders. It will be shared with the press as well. Please share widely on social media, your local press and local leaders.  Thank you and please let us know at  hdenk@lwvil.org  the outcome of your advocacy.
 League of Women Voters of Illinois 
332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 634| Chicago, Illinois 60604 
Phone:  312-939-5935 | Fax:  312-939-6887 |  info@lwvil.org