Popular Wisdom, Illinois Style

Popular wisdom, Illinois style said, “Nothing’s going to happen until after the primary.” The primary elections have come and gone (although two elections are still unresolved), and the 2010 Spring Session of the General Assembly has just begun. However, the February 9th edition of the Illinois Statehouse News reports that “… lawmakers have low expectations. Many legislators say they doubt much of anything will happen during this legislative session.”

Every week we hear about human service programs being closed, staff losing jobs, agencies borrowing money, and families losing the services they need to care for their children and/or elderly parents. Regardless, popular wisdom now says, “Not yet — maybe after the general election.”

Members of the Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) refuse to wait another eight months. State Senator Toi Hutchinson said recently that there is a price “for doing nothing.” (Illinois Statehouse News, February 9, 2010) She knows, and we all know, that, without new revenues, things are only going to get worse. Waiting for a politically safe time threatens the futures of our children, working parents, senior citizens, along with those who live with mental or physical disabilities.

PCG — along with our faith partners, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, the Community Renewal Society, and the Jewish Committee on Urban Affairs — calls upon people of faith to advocate for the passage of House Bill 174. This legislation will help solve the state budget crisis, prevent further harmful cuts to essential public services, make taxes fairer, and save jobs.

You can show your support for HB 174 by signing the letter we’ve written to the General Assembly. Time is short — please act now. We need more than 1,000 signatures from people of faith across Illinois by Feb. 12. Sign the faith letter and then pass it along to your pastor, rabbi, imam and other members of your congregation, as well as your friends, family and neighbors.

Let’s change the current popular wisdom by convincing our legislators to enact a responsible budget sooner rather than later.

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