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Quinn Announces Budget Cuts

By aaroncynic in News on Jul 1, 2010 6:40PM

Governor Pat Quinn announced a partial budget today which includes $1.4 billion in cuts. Speaking at a press conference, Quinn said “Today I’m making tough budget choices to move our state forward.” Among those tough choices include a $312.6 million cut from the Department of Human Services, the bulk of which includes $262.8 million cut from mental health and developmental disability programs not already tied to Medicaid. The cuts will have drastic effects on social service and mental health agencies in Illinois. In an interview with Fox Chicago yesterday, CEO Tony Zipple of Thresholds, one of the state’s largest service providers, said several dozen of the agencies residents could end up back on the streets. Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of the ARC of Illinois, a Disability Advocacy group called the budget a “dismantling of the human services safety network” and said that the “human toll is going to be just awful.”

Also included on the chopping block [PDF] are:

  • $241 million cut from P-12 education funding including $84 million in student transportation, $68.5 million in block grants and $70.5 million in support for other grant programs.
  • $86 million cut from four year universities and $14 million from community colleges.
  • $17.4 million cut from the Department of Aging.
  • $17 million cut from public health, including women’s health promotion grants, medical student scholarships, immunizations outreach grants and medical student scholarships.
  • $15.4 million cut from the Illinois State Police
  • $41.9 million cut from the Department of Corrections

In a letter to state lawmakers, the Governor said that the state needs these cuts. Quinn wrote “Simply stated our state does not have sufficient resources to meet its needs. Spending continues to outpace available revenues, and unpaid bills continue to mount.” David Vaught, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget lauded the plan, saying “This budget cuts inefficiencies and holds state agencies accountable for their spending.”