CCH statement on Governor Rauner’s 2017 state budget address

February 15 – Illinois needs a budget that reflects who we are  – a state that wants to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the greater good. Today Governor Bruce Rauner introduced a budget that fails to meet this standard.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is disappointed that the governor continues to prioritize non-budget items over the needs of families, while at the same time offering a budget that is close to $5 billion out of balance. While we, like the governor, desire to see growth in Illinois and create more jobs, we believe growth in our state will only come if we adequately invest in the people so they can achieve their full potential. Making that investment requires real, permanent, new revenue now that adequately funds homeless services as well as other critical human services, not reforms that hurt working families.

State Network Organizer Jim Picchetti (second from left) with three leaders from Aurora’s Hesed House, in Springfield today with CCH and the Grassroots Collaborative. From left, Janet Ramos, Michael Krueger and Emmie Kearns.

While the governor continues to make a budget deal contingent on non-budget issues, Illinois is in its second year without a budget. Service providers are barely holding on as they continue to provide services to people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.

We agree with the governor and commend the Senate for continuing to work together towards an adequate and balanced budget, but the current proposal on the table does not contain adequate revenue. We will continue to advocate for a final budget that fully funds programs that serve the needs of those experiencing homelessness.

 The governor was right in saying we are at a crossroads. We cannot continue down this road without a budget. It is doing irreparable harm to homeless families and individuals. We ask the governor to move away from his turnaround agenda in favor of working with the General Assembly to pass an adequate budget with no cuts and adequate revenue that  reflects the real needs of the residents of Illinois.