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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Comes Under Fire for Implementing Cuts to Social Services

According to recently released government records and media reports, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner publicly announced his plan to cut an approximate of $200 million from the state budget, including an approximate of $89 million in funding for various existing social service programs.

Patty Schuh, a spokesperson for Governor Rauner, addressed the governor’s public statement by revealing that these sudden changes were a direct cause of the governor being handed a budget $1.7 billion out of balance, which has now forced him to take “action where possible to begin reducing that structural imbalance.”

The Social Strangulation 

Many of these cuts subjected to social services were made to programs who have, specifically, suffered severe funding lapses during Illinois’ two-year budget impasse. These also include cuts to addiction prevention centers, supportive housing services, homelessness prevention, youth employment programs, in addition to services for immigrant integration, refugees and people with disabilities.

Rep. Greg Harris also took up this new development in front of the media, criticizing the Illinois governor for his decision. Harris highlighted how “it’s the same groups and same programs” that had suffered the economic blow the last time the governor had decided to cut expenses from state budget.

Apart from financial cuts being administered in human services, Governor Rauner has also announced that he will cut an additional $21 million from the Department of Agriculture, $86 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation, and $41 million from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. This decision by the governor has been received with a lot of backlashes since most of these departments cater to the regular citizens on a daily basis.

The Good Friday Massacre and The 2024 Social Strangulation 

In addition to this, these cuts will most likely hit disabled citizens with the hardest consequences because the money for para-transit services for the Regional Transportation Authority will also be eliminated.

JB Pritzker, who is the acting spokesperson for Jordan Abudayyeh, also publicly addressed this issue. He highlighted how Rauner decided to only “slash vital programs” that help Illinois residents live a better life. In addition to this, he compared the recently announced cuts to the “Good Friday Massacre” of 2015, where Governor Rauner had administered $26 million in financial cuts to social services of the state.

State Representative Daniel Bliss also took to his social media account to express his displeasure at the newly announced cuts. In his post, Bliss said that the “children, refugees and people with disabilities” who reside in Illinois have “suffered enough” in the past few years. In addition to this, he also wrote that it was their duty, as leaders of the state, to take action and stop the implementation of decisions like these.

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