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Thursday, June 9, 2016 12:18 am

Editor’s note 6/9/16

The fiscal policy center of Voices for Illinois Children, a respected and reliable nonprofit, offers “eight takeaways” to put the state’s fiscal problems in perspective. 1. Without a fully funded budget, Illinois is dismantling the foundations of a prosperous, compassionate state. It is causing the higher education system to fall apart, service providers to shut down and the safety net to collapse. 2. Public safety is jeopardized when mental health and substance abuse programs are cut. 3. Illinois doesn’t have the money it takes to meet public needs. After last year’s 25-percent tax cut, Illinois needs more than $7 billion in new revenue a year to restore the services it had in the 2015 fiscal year. 4. Even after deep cuts, delay in raising revenue means more debt for the state. 5. Debt means less investment in the future. 6. Without more revenue, increases to public school funding crowds out other investments. 7. A short-term “emergency” budget is not a solution. 8. Gov. Rauner already has a bill on his desk – $700 million for service providers – that is part of the six-month budget he says he wants. For more detail, go to www.voices4kids.org. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and publisher

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