TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – As the New Year approaches, Illinois is still without a budget. This is the second year the state will continue to operate without government funding.
In July, lawmakers created a stop gap budget. This provided a temporary fix for state services like education, road safety and other state programs. But that fix comes to end on January 1, 2017.
This means the budget problem is right back on the state’s doorstep and some Illinois residents are fed up with the state’s gridlock.
State funds are facing another year of financial uncertainty as ruling Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner remain unable to make progress on resolving a budget war.
“They only care about their selves, they don’t care about the people in the state,” said Illinois resident, Brad Black. “Small towns like us they don’t care.”
Black has lived in Casey, Illinois for 55 years.
“They go there to do a job and if they’re not doing a budget then they’re not doing the job that they were sent there for,” said Illinois resident, Don Brown.
Brown was born and raised in Illinois and returned to his home state after serving the United States.
“I’m a volunteer at the human resource center and our budget has been severely restricted by this. We went for months without any payment at all,” said Illinois resident, Patsy Brown.
Services like mental health counseling are just one of several programs affected by state dollars slipping away. King says employees at her workplace are seeing patients without any compensation because of the lack of funding.
“There’s no overtime, we can’t hire any more people,” said King. “When people leave we just can’t replace them so people are suffering.”
With political parties unable to agree, Illinois is left uncertain about any government funding for 2017. Some residents even suggested extreme measures.
“Most of the problem is because Chicago runs everything, in my opinion,” said Brown. “Take Chicago, make it its own little state, and the rest of Illinois will be alright.”
One item everyone can agree on is the budget’s impact throughout the state.
“It affects everything,” said King. “It affects roads, it affects rest areas. And some of our developmentally delayed people work in the rest areas and a lot of them were laid off for a very long time and had no income for a very long time and they need to think about that.”
Social services and state programs will continue to see cuts if Illinois legislators can’t come to a compromise.
While many residents are skeptical of bipartisanship in the state of Illinois, many are hoping legislators will make 2017 a year of change.
News 10 will continue to keep you updated on the budget as this issue progresses.