Stopgap Budget Political Theater, Not A Solution

Democratic State Rep Jack Franks

By Elizabeth Campbell on June 28th, 2016:

If both sides can’t agree on some kind of education funding and don’t pass any state aid, Chicago’s schools and other districts through the state have said they won’t be able to open on time.

 Both parties have advocated for about $650 million to social service providers, which have been slammed by the impasse. More than half of 429 social service providers surveyed by the United Way of Illinois in early June said they’ll have to stop serving clients in six months if the impasse continues. Almost two-thirds of respondents have already started cutting programs or operations, according to the survey.

Representative Jack Franks, a Democrat, who’s served in the legislature since 1999 and decided not to run again partly because of this year’s dysfunction, said real people are suffering and will die without a budget. Without a fix, there will be more homeless, higher crime rates, and ultimately, higher costs because of increased incarceration rates.

“It’s going to be catastrophic,” Franks said. “Both sides suffer under the delusion that it’s OK for real people to suffer as long as the other side gets blamed. It’s clear that this isn’t about policy anymore and what’s good for the citizens. It’s only about what’s good for the power brokers.”