Skip to comments.Thousands Protest Impact Of State Budget Cuts
Posted on 06/18/2009 7:50:40 PM PDT by uptoolate
There is outrage over the state budget crisis. Thousands vented their pain and anger at a rally downtown Thursday. Chanting people first not politics, they supported a state income tax hike instead of doomsday cuts. Vital services for kids, seniors, the disabled and the homeless are about to be cut in half. Their backers want to send a message to lawmakers in Springfield.
"Work it out or there's a mood now developing in the state where you won't be there in the next election," said Chuck Nilles, Community Support Services. "Change is now."
That's the big picture, but the impact touches so many lives. CBS 2's Kristyn Hartman reports with the personal toll.
Illinois doesn't have much further to fall when it comes to helping its most vulnerable. According to the "2009 State of the States in Developmental Disabilities", the Land of Lincoln ranks 47th in the United States. And critics say what's bad is getting worse.
A family CBS 2 met told us how.
A child living with Down syndrome or autism requires special therapies, sometimes special education. That's why something like the Illinois Family Assistance Program was a big help to Cathy and Richard Bedard and their three kids with special needs.
"It's very costly to raise children who have developmental disabilities," Cathy Bedard said.
The Bedards just got a letter with Governor Quinn's name on it informing them: "that funding for the family assistance program will not be renewed."
It means a more than $1,200 stipend the Bedards came to rely on for therapies and schooling is gone as of July 1st, eliminated in tough budget times.
"I was angry. I was very, very angry. I was devastated. I was frightened," Cathy said. "At this point in time, we're looking at bankruptcy."
They aren't the only ones hurt in the crunch.
People served by the Department of Human Services met outside the Thompson Center, they say, to protest cuts in excess of $2 billion that will directly affect the state's most vulnerable.
The governor wanted a tax hike to preserve programs. It was rejected.
"I would support a tax hike," Richard Bedard said.
When asked if she thinks it only has to be done through taxation alone or if other things can be cut, Cathy Bedard said, "Oh, I'm positive they can find other things to cut."
Especially, she says, when you consider programs that allow children with special needs to stay with their families - save money. Cathy says she has saved the state money by not institutionalizing her children.
"I've saved the state over $300,000 by keeping my children at home where they belong," Cathy said. "I don't think our kids are pork. Why are they cutting that out of the budget? Cut the other pork. My kid isn't pork."
So do you think cash should go to livestock awards, the Illinois wine and grape industry or high-end Port-A-Potties? It's in the budget. But if you cut it, it doesn't come close to saving other programs. The fact is some of the biggest costs are payroll and pensions.
A representative for Gov. Quinn said the General Assembly has forced this budget situation on Quinn. He said Quinn recommended pension reform that would save money. He also said they'll revisit the temporary income tax hike idea.
Later Thursday, Quinn called for a special session of the Illinois General Assembly to grapple with budgetary and ethics reform.
A proclamation Quinn signed Thursday says the session will convene Tuesday. It says a primary aim will be to deal with the state's financial crisis.
I figured that as the economies cratered those who think they are owed *services* would take to the streets.
Yep, the leaches are in the streets.....
>>Chanting people first not politics, they supported a state income tax hike instead of doomsday cuts. Vital services for kids, seniors, the disabled and the homeless are about to be cut in half.<<
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it will be Chicago before California.
The peasants should be silent and die.
Wow. Never thought I’d see the day that people would be taking to the streets chanting “Tax us more! Tax us more!”
Erm. Those leeches and moochers pay no taxes. They’re chanting ‘tax the working folks more’ so we can keep on mooching on the system.
“Never thought Id see the day that people would be taking to the streets chanting Tax us more! Tax us more!”
And you still haven’t. You think these parasites pay taxes? The chant is “tax them more...give to us!”
>>”I would support a tax hike,” Richard Bedard said. <<
Although I understand his plight, since he is a “tax recipient”, why am I not surprised.
Once the tax crisis becomes real to people, and not just rhetoric from governors that they don’t have money, things are gonna get really ugly. I thought Ca would be first. I may have been wrong.
>>I figured that as the economies cratered those who think they are owed *services* would take to the streets.<<
Yep. LIke the video in post 4 but worse by several orders of magnitude.
“A child living with Down syndrome or autism requires special therapies, sometimes special education. That’s why something like the Illinois Family Assistance Program was a big help to Cathy and Richard Bedard and their three kids with special needs.
“It’s very costly to raise children who have developmental disabilities,” Cathy Bedard said.”
1. It is not MY job to raise YOUR kids.
2. Maybe you shoulda stopped after the first one if it was too damn difficult for you.
>>Wow. Never thought Id see the day that people would be taking to the streets chanting Tax us more! Tax us more!<<
Lets be frank here. They are really saying “tax THEM more”.
Mr. Bedard, you are a leech. Please allow me to say this to you just as politely as I can:
The protesters aren’t the ones paying the taxes.
I don’t think you’ve seen it yet! The people calling for more taxes are the takers, not the givers. What’s being demanded is that those who pay taxes, not those who live off the fat of those who do, pay more taxes.
It’s going to be a Bad Day at Black Rock when the producers tell the leaches that the free ride is over.
uptoolate lives in the southern suburbs of Chicago. A couple of years ago he refinanced his mortgage to put on a new roof, build a garage, add central air, remodel the kitchen and pave the driveway. He is married with three children, all of them special needs. A 15 year old son has Juvenile Diabetes, a 9 year old son has CVS (Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome), and they have adopted a 16 year old daughter with Sickle Cell and an STD contracted by her previously adoptive father and his son. Mrs. uptoolate stays at home to raise the kids in the righteousness and admonition of the Lord. All the kids are homeschooled.
When the economy tanked, it came at a time when they were putting up their house for sale. With the recent refinance and home improvements, they were not going to make a killing on it, but the improvements would help the home sell.
Now they are “underwater”. With great prayer, they managed to find a Christian family who was in a great need to rent a house for their family of five. This allowed uptoolate and his family to move in with his in-laws. His Father-In-Law is an amputee, suffering also from COPD, and his Mother-In-Law suffers from Alzheimer’s. Now uptoolate finds himself supporting a family of seven, five of them special needs, on a truck driver’s salary.
They are now fixing up the In-Law’s house, where they have built two extra bedrooms in the basement, so they can sell that one and move to the Great State of Texas where they have more family who can help.
During all of this, uptoolate has never been a burden on his fellow neighbor. He has never asked his neighbor for money. All he has done is humbly asked his Savior to help take care of them all - and He has.
But one wonders what would become of uptoolate and his special needs family if he were to have to pay 50% more in taxes.
I wonder if CBS would print this story?
Probably not, doesn’t fit the mold.
Sounds like they have their priorities mixed up.
I’d cut the guy a little slack. His family is in need of help for his disabled child. Rather than raise taxes, I’d sooner look at cutting other costs, like salaries and pensions (as noted in the article).
Perhaps Illinois could lead the nation by requiring proof of citizenship prior to receiving any state aid. They could enact this next Monday and possibly save most of the programs they are prepared to cut. OR - they could fire every 5th affirmative-action chair-warmer at every state office and Illinois would probably go into 2010 with a surplus.