Tasha Green Cruzat head shot - website
Message from Voices’ President
January 20, 2017 It is an uncertain time for Illinois and the nation. The new administration in Washington is certain to make decisions at the federal level that will reverberate in Illinois. As the Illinois Legislature makes tentative moves toward a resolution to the 19-month budget impasse, localities and non-profit organizations are still in dire need of resources to provide services and help residents meet their basic needs.
FY18 Budget cover
The Governor’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget: Balanced -in name
With the hope of closing a budget gap of more than $7 billion, Governor Bruce Rauner has presented the legislature with a Fiscal Year 2018 budget totaling $37.3 billion. His proposed methods for closing the gap includes some additional revenue but also a set of legislative measures to reform pensions, procurement, state employee health care, and human services.
Invest in youth social media square hi res 240 x 240
New Report: Invest in Youth – Not Prisons
Putting youth in prisons is the most expensive and least effective way to respond to juvenile delinquency. Yet Illinois spends heavily on unnecessary prison facilities while neglecting community-based alternatives to incarceration, according to a new report from Voices’ Fiscal Policy Center. By shifting investment from youth prisons to research-backed, community-based alternatives, Illinois can help youth succeed, improve public safety, and save taxpayers money.

Issues In Focus

Agenda to Build Better Lives
voices_agenda_nov2016-cover Read Voices for Illinois Children’s Agenda for Building Better Lives that outlines steps we believe the state must take on behalf of Illinois children and families. In shaping our Agenda, Voices connected with both communities and partner organizations to ensure that we are operating in the most effective advocacy space for children and families.
Message from Voices’ President
Tasha Green Cruzat head shot - website January 20, 2017 It is an uncertain time for Illinois and the nation. The new administration in Washington is certain to make decisions at the federal level that will reverberate in Illinois. As the Illinois Legislature makes tentative moves toward a resolution to the 19-month budget impasse, localities and non-profit organizations are still in dire need of resources to provide services and help residents meet their basic needs.
More Money Needed For Pensions
IMG_0853 Illinois residents should be ready to pay an additional $886 million in general funds in the next fiscal year (which starts July 1st) towards pensions for state employees, teachers, staff at state universities, judges, and legislators. That’s the total change from this fiscal year (FY17) after the state pension systems[1] set their contribution amounts and the State Auditor (a firm hired by the Auditor General) reviewed them.
Kids Count Report: Illinois Kids Making Progress, But Many Face Challenges
2016KCDB_cover_150px Prior to the state budget crisis, Illinois kids were improving in important indicators of child well-being, including education and health, according to the 2016 KIDS COUNT® Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. However, one in five children in Illinois continued to live in poverty in 2014, and the number of kids growing up in high poverty neighborhoods has increased since 2008.