Everyone is talking about the massive cuts that Governor Quinn is proposing for Illinois’ FY 2013 budget. They sound downright painful, especially the $2.7 billion in cuts he proposed to make to Medicaid, the state’s health care system for the poor. A Just Harvest patron’s struggle to get nutritious food, pay rent, and buy medication as things currently stand. Deeps cuts to Medicaid will only make their challenges greater.
Cuts to the state budget – like the 9% Quinn is proposing for many state departments – will have a ripple effect in the economy. A recent study by the Alliance for a Just Society finds that for every percentage point we cut Illinois spending, we lose 6,230 jobs. As people lose their jobs in the coming year to Illinois budget cuts many of them will turn to places like A Just Harvest for help.
We need to be looking at revenue sources, not simply cuts. Quinn made a weak reference to raising $75 million annually by closing a tax loophole enjoyed by oil companies. Check out IIRON’s take on corporate tax loopholes that, if closed, could actually raise serious revenue for Illinois – $1.5 billion over three years! If you’re feeling wonky (and I mean this in a good way), read the original study by Good Jobs First detailing these loopholes. Although this isn’t enough to solve all our budget woes, shouldn’t we be looking for ways to lessen the pain?
Northside P.O.W.E.R. participated in an action called “Fat Cat Tuesday” that called on corporations and our elected officials to repent and give up corporate tax giveaways for lent. Â Click on the image below to see press coverage in Progress Illinois.