The new Illinois Kids Count 2014 report, “Child Health Matters,” documents some positive trends for children’s health in our state—fewer children without health insurance, declining infant mortality rates, fewer young children with lead poisoning, and fewer teen deaths from accidents, homicide, or suicide. However, the data also show disturbing disparities related to household income level, race and ethnicity, special health care needs, and other factors.
In response to a new report from the Governor’s Office, FPC Director Larry Joseph warns that, unless the General Assembly acts, massive revenue losses beginning in January 2015 will lead to billions of dollars in service cuts. Joseph says putting Illinois on the right track — in terms of fiscal responsibility, economic growth, and strong families and communities — requires stable and sustainable revenue.
On January 1, 2015, Illinois will experience a revenue collapse that will result in a budget shortfall of at least $2.3 billion, and up to $3 billion this coming fiscal year. Lawmakers have a choice. They can enact at least $2.3 billion in cuts to education, human services, public safety, and other essential services–cuts our kids and families can’t afford–or get Illinois back on the right track by maintaining stable and sustainable revenue to educate our children, fund essential services and pay our bills.