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Welcome to Dupage Mamas! This blog is a place for Mamas to connect, share their experiences, and recommend great finds and ideas (or let us learn from your mistakes!) If you are raising kids in Dupage County, then we'd love to have you along for the adventure!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trouble in Illinois

Everyone knows that we've having economic trouble right now, and the impact this is having everywhere - Wall Street, Main Street, our families, our jobs. But I hadn't realized the impact on Government until I began reading about the "crisis budget" our Illinois State Legislature needs to pass before the end of the month.

While I understand that budgets need to be balanced - and certainly don't advocate for going further into debt or cutting, say, roads or schools - I have a hard time seeing how a state could function with no money going into Human Services. Some of the proposed cuts would mean, for instance, no state funding for Mental Health services, domestic violence shelters, substance abuse programs, disability services. Where are the people currently served by these programs (and this is just a few examples) going to go if their programs are cut and their residences closed? It is estimated that 20 percent of Dupage County residents will be directly hit by these cuts, not to mention the impact it will have on all of us to have these vulnerable populations suddenly without resources. This link will give you the specific impact to Dupage County.

I'm sure this isn't the first you've heard about the proposed budget cuts; I know my inbox was flooded with concerns from just about every Human Services agency and community-aware friend that I have when it was first announced. And the general consensus is that the state probably won't cut Human Service programs entirely as has been put forward.

But the fact remains - there's not a lot of money in the economy right now, and government is no exception (all the recent poor behavior hasn't helped that either). If not Human Services, then what should be cut? What are we willing to live without? Or are we ok with racking up debt? Or paying higher taxes?

I once heard that, before the Great Depression, recession was seen as a good and healthy thing. It caused society to consider its choices and readjust to meet with reality on individual and corporate levels. Since the Great Depression we've just been scared of what could happen. And I'm scared right now of what could and is happening - to individuals and family's, businesses, and governments. But maybe it is good for us to take a look at our budgets - at home and at work - and reevaluate our priorities.

Which makes me also ask - if our state does cut services to the most needy and vulnerable among us, will we as individuals and groups step up to fill the gap?

Well, I sat down this morning to give you a flavor of the news and events going on around Dupage County, but it looks like I got bogged down. I'll be back with our regularly scheduled links next week; in the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. If you would like to take action, this link will hep.


Heather June 27, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

Thanks for posting this Catherine. These social service cuts will really affect so many people in need in our community--including women and children.

Just Me June 29, 2009 at 9:05 PM  

my concern is that already undeserved individuals will loose all services and that would be a tragedy. Individuals are already not filling in the much smaller gaps imagine if they were larger??

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