February 18, 2015
ONE Northside’s Response to Gov. Rauner’s Budget
Attention ONE Northside Members:
Today, Governor Rauner laid out his proposals to address Illinois’ fiscal crisis. The press release that ONE Northside’s statewide alliance, Fair Economy Illinois, issued is included below.
Governor Rauner’s proposals are disastrous. He is attempting to fundamentally change the role of government. He is doing this by cutting almost every single program we care about. During his speech, he did not mention one concrete idea for raising revenue.
Capitol Fax is reporting that the following programs and line items are under attack:
•31% reduction to higher education funding
•Elimination of the Grow Your Own Teachers Program, of which ONE Northside is a proud partnering organization
•$1.5 billion cut to Medicaid
•Supportive housing services, homeless youth services and addiction prevention services are also at risk of being eliminated entirely
•$139.2 million cut to Department of Children and Family Services
•Funding for Ceasefire, which ONE Northside proudly hosts for the north side, would be cut from $4.7 million to $1.9 million
•LIHEAP (a utility bill subsidy program for low income individuals) would be eliminated as well
•$112 million cut to the regional transit authority, which passes money to the CTA, along with funding for reduced fare programs and Pace’s Paratransit program
These are are just a few of the overall cuts, but cuts that are most pertinent to our organization’s and our members’ work. As a reminder, this is what’s being reported. More information will become available as the days go on. It is clear Governor Rauner is trying to balance the budget on the backs of working families and those most in need. He is making a choice to cut the programs that allow Illinoisans to lead dignified lives INSTEAD OF taxing Big Corporations, LaSalle Street, and the 1%.
These are Governor Rauner’s proposals. The two chambers must pass a budget before it will be signed into law. There is a long fight ahead of us. So how is ONE Northside responding?…
ONE Northside is moving into Action!
We cannot stand idly by. We cannot let the disatrous implications of Gov. Rauner’s budget overwhelm us. Our Economic Justice Team, along with Fair Economy Illinois, is in the process of finalizing a big and bold revenue package. It includes closing corporate tax loopholes, passing a financial transactions tax on LaSalle Street trades, raising income tax rates on millionaires, corporate tax transparency, and a proposal to refinance the pension debt. By making our tax code fair and progressive, we can raise revenue from the people and corporations who can afford it! Here’s how you can help advance our message that it’s a revenue crisis, NOT a spending crisis, and build the political will for Springfield to make it happen:
•Public meeting and rally, Tomorrow/Thursday, February 19, 10:30am, Chicago Temple (77 W. Washington): ONE Northside with join with other groups from the Grassroots Collaborative for a public meeting at the Chicago Temple. We will then do a quick 4-block march to the Thompson Center and Bank of America (dress warmly!). RSVP here.
•Springfield Day of Action, Wednesday, March 11, 6am-7pm: ONE Northside will join with Fair Economy Illinois, Action Now, labor unions and other allies for a day of action to reclaim our state house and advance our message for revenue. Actions like ours will be taking place in capitals across the country. Save a seat on the bus here.
•Revenue Action + Fight for $15, Wednesday, April 15, midday, Chicago: It’s going to be one of the largest mobilizations around the Fight for $15, demanding that Big Corporations pay their workers a living wage and recognize their right to form a union. We know Big Corporations have hijacked our democracy and economy. They need to pay their workers a living wage AND pay their fair share of taxes. Tell us you’re coming.
Fair Economy Illinois Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2015
Fair Economy Illinois Responds to Governor Rauner’s Budget Address
Today Governor Rauner outlined his proposal to bring stability to Illinois’ fiscal crisis. Fair Economy Illinois believes Illinois is in a revenue crisis, not a spending crisis. Governor Rauner’s proposals will devastate every community across the state and continue to hinder Illinois’ economic recovery.
The Governor has called for “shared sacrifice,” but vital services have been cut repeatedly in recent years. The people who depend on these services have already made deep sacrifices. They should not be asked to sacrifice even more.
“Governor Rauner said he would shake up Springfield. Instead he is showing us more of the same – balancing the budget on the backs of hardworking Illinoisans and the most vulnerable, while continuing to let Big Corporations and the 1% off the hook. His proposals are just horrifying,” said Sonny Garcia of Illinois People’s Action in Bloomington.
“There is plenty of money in Illinois. Our legislators and governor just need to decide to get it from those who can afford to pay more. The money is not in programs that allow seniors to live dignified lives, or in hard earned retirement funds for public workers, and or in health benefits for low-income people. The money is on LaSalle Street, in corporate tax loopholes and the bulging pockets of the one percent,” said Toby Chow of IIRON on Chicago’s south side.
The responsible solution is to generate the revenue needed to put Illinois on a path to sustainable prosperity. We know there are many options for the state to generate adequate revenue. To say that there is “no choice but to make cuts” is cynical and false. “Governor Rauner is making a choice. He is choosing to cause further devastation for our communities instead of taxing his millionaire friends and big corporations,” said Eugene Lim of ONE Northside in Chicago. “Rather than balancing Illinois’ budget by shirking the state’s most fundamental responsibilities, Rauner and the legislature must restructure Illinois’ tax code to raise adequate revenue. It is high time we invest in human services, health care, public education and public safety, so that being wealthy is not a prerequisite to living a dignified life.”
Fair Economy Illinois has a revenue package that would end the debate over cuts to critical programs in Illinois. It would raise billions in new revenue so we can truly invest in the people of Illinois. It includes a financial transactions tax on LaSalle Street trades, raising income tax rates on millionaires through a graduated income tax, closing corporate tax loop holes, corporate tax transparency, and refinancing the pension debt to take the pressure off the current general revenue fund.
Fair Economy Illinois is a statewide alliance that organizes urban, suburban and rural residents around issues that affect the common good. We organize people and money in order to: 1) limit the power of corporations and private interests in our state; 2) ensure adequate revenue for the State of Illinois to fulfill its primary functions so Illinoisans may lead dignified lives with strong public education, high quality infrastructure, fully funded human services and public safety, and; 3) protect our environment and natural resources from corporate exploitation.
The alliance comprises three organizations: IIRON, Illinois Peoples’ Action (IPA), and Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside (ONE Northside).
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WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “Shoot Down: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.