Proposed cuts could be disastrous for Ill.

Within the past few weeks, many gubernatorial candidates have publicly declared their proposed plans for how to reform our state-wide budget crisis. As we said last week, we have been waiting for tangible proposals. Some proposals have included cutting government spending and increasing transparency in financial related concerns. Like many others, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady has announced his own proposal. The unique proposal includes a ten percent statewide cut. Brady said this across-the-board spending cut has potential to save Illinois $5.5 billion. What he failed to mention was how this cut can be disastrous to many Illinois residents.

Friday, Brady said all parts of state government funds should be cut by ten percent, including education and reforms in Medicaid, in order to balance the deficit-ridden budget. Other candidate proposals have steered clear of increasing taxes, as all part of the political game, but this ten percent statewide cut could possibly be the next-to-worst thing for those in already dire situations. Cutting any small percentage of state funds toward education and social services is bad in itself, but proposing cutting ten percent may close down many programs that should not be closed.

Social service programs that would be affected include mental health services, developmental disabilities programs, rehabilitation programs, pregnancy and parenting, violence and abuse services, housing programs and so forth. Those programs are vital to the growth of each community. As a whole, Illinois cannot progress without these programs. The same goes for education. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: education is what can make a difference – for better or worse. Cutting ten percent from education will be for the worse.

Brady’s constituency may see his ten percent statewide cut as a good plan when opposed to a tax increase. But this across-the-board spending cut will hurt much more than it will help.