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Tasha Green Cruzat comments on Groundhog Day and Illinois Government

It’s Groundhog Day and, therefore, the time is ripe to ask if Illinois is about to experience the same negligent budget stalemate that did immeasurable damage to our state for two years, with ramifications to be felt for years to come. The vital services and protection our children and families depend on were held hostage in a political game and their rights were too easily sacrificed as collateral damage. It is not enough to say that this cannot happen again – we must work tirelessly to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors have a fair chance at happy and healthy lives.

Today, our children still suffer from a system that fails to fully meet their families’ needs. Although we’ve seen great recovery in some sectors of the state since the economic recession, not all communities have experienced recovery at the same rate, particularly our communities of color. Illinois does have a new school aid formula to reduce inequities but now the state has to properly fund it to make it work. Yet, that alone does not address the needs of Illinois children and their families. The state must meet those challenges as well – whether it is in regard to health care, economic opportunities, or community supports. A state unwilling to do so not only reflects our values but likely means the next Groundhog Day won’t be much different.

Tasha Green Cruzat
President, Voices for Illinois Children

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