Newly installed Illinois governor Bruce Rauner is certain to be as popular as his predecessor, Pat Quinn.
Rauner recently announced his “Turn Illinois Around” budget plan. The plan proposes more than $6 billion worth of budget cuts. Many of the proposed budget cuts will eliminate much needed services, such as medical assistance for the poor. Rauner suggested nearly $2 billion worth of funding cuts in the state’s already suffering Medicaid program.
The proposed cuts would eliminate an extension of prescription medication benefits to those receiving treatment for mental health disorders. The proposed cuts would also eliminate extra assistance received by those suffering from hemophilia.
Other proposed cuts include eliminating the assistance available to youths aged 18-21 through the Department of Children and Family Services. Funding for hospitals will also be dramatically slashed in an attempt to balance the state’s already in the red budget.
“I want balance our state budget,” Rauner said. “But I don’t want to do it at the expense of our people, particularly our most vulnerable.”
Ironically, Rauner’s words appear only as lip service. The Illinois governor chose not to extend a temporary 1.25% income tax surcharge that expired last year. The failure to extend the surcharge will result in a $750,000 tax break for Rauner.