Wednesday, March 26, 2008

State Rep. Hamos Holds House Budget Hearing, Says to Social Service Providers: Get Real, No Money

(Chicago, IL) -- Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) is organizing 19 regional budget hearings on this year's state spending plan, and State Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), right, chaired one such hearing in her district on Monday and was struck dumb by the multi-million dollar requests from social service providers despite an empty state treasury.

Hamos and State Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Kankakee), who also chaired a budget hearing in Kankakee, appeared on WBEZ's 848 program, hosted by Gabriel Spitzer, to discuss their findings.

During the program, Hamos expressed dismay at providers' unrealistic budget requests totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, and Dugan expressed annoyance that Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office held a hearing earlier in the day to compete with Dugan's and later handed out brochures during her hearing to undercut the event.

The lawmakers also poured iced, cold water on the Governor's billion dollar tax credit initiatives, saying those too are unrealistic when the cupboard is bare.

They conveyed a deep foreboding on a likelihood of a swift budget resolution this year, noting budget talks have yet even to begin. Not pretty.

Audio of Hamos and Dugan interview at Your Two Cents Less

3 comments:

JB Powers 3:59 PM  

Rep Hamos is trying to sound like the voice of reason by spending less than the $25 Billion proposed by the governor. Say she comes in at $20 Billion, that makes her rational?

The debt of the State of Illinois has increased from $15 Billion in 1980 to $50 Billion in 2005 (inflation adjusted). How on earth can we afford 50% increase in debt when pensions are not funded and bills are not paid today?

We need some adult leadership in this state.

JBP

David Ormsby 11:55 PM  

JBP,

What, pray, budgets cuts do you propose?

David Ormsby

Anonymous,  3:38 PM  

She'd be even more annoyed if she looked at the salaries and perks of many of those nonprofit execs and their top staffs--six figure (well into six figures) salaries, primo health benefits, cars, trips, the luxury life.

Whether they successfully raise money for their organizations or not.

It's the easy life in Illinois--not only for those directly employed
as state employees but also for
contractors (who, Illinois, can hugely leverage a few thousand in "campaign contributions" into millions in state business) and happy non-profit recipients of
state dollars.

And middle class state taxpayers are likely to get fleeced again this year, too.

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