Illinois Gov. Quinn Signs Budget, Cuts Extra $57 Million

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today cut another $57 million from the state's $33.7 billion budget for the 2013 fiscal year. He also signed the budget at the Thompson Center in Chicago. The state's budget has faced numerous financial issues and debates, as well as several series of cuts.

* The Associated Press reported the governor's decision blocks $57 million from the state's prison fund. The governor is pushing to have that money reallocated to the Department of Children and Family Services, but such a move would require approval from lawmakers.

* That $57 million in savings would come largely from the closing and consolidating of state correctional, department of human services and juvenile justice facilities, many of which are extremely expensive to operate and are nowhere near capacity.

* The budget also includes cutting funding for education by about $200 million and child-welfare spending by $85 million.

* In May, the governor vetoed funding for the prisons he wants to close, saying many of them are only half-full and are taking away money that could be put to better use elsewhere.

* Gov. Quinn has continued to express his disdain with the General Assembly's decision to take away funding for children-welfare and family services, especially since that funding helps provide crucial services for abused and neglected children.

* A news release from the state added that the budget consists of cutting discretionary spending by $1.4 billion from fiscal year 2012, paying $1.3 billion in old bills, and closing and consolidating 57 facilities across the state.

* It also includes restructuring the state's Medicaid program, which has been under debate for years, and keeping important state services intact. The governor also reduced his own office spending by nine percent.

* The state will see an estimated $136 million in additional savings at the beginning of fiscal year 2014 because of the cuts being made for the upcoming fiscal year budget.

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. Currently pursuing her master's degree in environmental science, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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