All that said, it is clear that our state is at a critical juncture. Partisan struggle and gridlock has led to the unprecedented situation of Illinois operating under a budget for only 6 out of the last 24 months. As of January 1, we are again without a budget and the slowly unfolding disaster of funding loss to human services, healthcare, higher education, and other vital programs continues. Illinois' budget deficit has only widened in the meantime, as a lack of definitive action by the Governor and the General Assembly to shore up our state's long-term finances means that money continues to be spent because of various court orders, consent decrees, and other automatic spending at a rate that far outstrips our incoming revenue.
There are again signs that a "grand bargain" to produce a solid, balanced budget including adequate revenue and other structural reforms may be at hand. We certainly hope that a deal can be struck soon, so that the bleeding felt by agencies serving the disability community and so many others can be stopped and eventually healed. We urge all members - especially Democratic and Republican leadership - of the 100th General Assembly, Governor Rauner and his staff, and all department heads who have a hand in shaping the state budget to come together at this time, set aside politics, and pass a budget that fully funds the infrastructure that gives all Illinoisans, including those with disabilities, a chance to live independent and prosperous lives. Our community is watching, and waiting.
Thanks for all you do,
Manager of Organizing and Policy