FROM: Mary Kubasak, President
Hilary Denk & Jean Pierce, LWVIL Issues Committee Co-Chairs
RE: ILLINOIS STATE BUDGET
Please 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. A vote is expected on Monday, May 30, 2017. Find contact information for your state legislators here:
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.
WHY IT MATTERS:
The State of Illinois does not have a budget for Fiscal Year 2017, except for General State Aid for education. It does not have enough money to pay its bills and currently has $11 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.