Last week, the Illinois Senate passed SB1, a bill to fix the state’s school funding formula. The measure will ensure that all Illinois schools are adequately funded and has a “hold harmless” provision, which guarantees that no school districts will see cuts to their funding.

Unfortunately, the Lake County Gazette – conservative political propaganda disguised as a newspaper, funded by hyper-partisan WIND talk show host Dan Proft – is trying to mislead Illinoisans by using numbers from the Illinois State Board of Education’s analysis of a completely different school funding reform bill (SB 231) from last year to claim that Lake County school districts will lose funding.

The Lake County Gazette’s attempt to intentionally misinform Illinoisans is absolutely disgraceful. Illinoisans deserve to know the truth.

Here are the facts:

Illinois has the least equitable school funding formula of any state. For years, legislators have been working to come up with a solution that would ensure all Illinois schools receive adequate funding. In order to do this, we would need a school funding formula that would direct additional resources to low-income school districts while also making sure not to cut resources for school districts that are well-funded. Senate Bill 1 does exactly this. Under the measure, no schools in Illinois will see funding cuts. Funding levels will either stay the same or will increase to ensure schools are receiving at least the base level of funding.

The measure is not only good for Lake County children, but for all Illinois children. That’s why I support the bill.

Lake County Gazette fake news image

Category: Latest

Over the last several months, the Illinois Senate has been working to pass a bipartisan balanced budget, but Governor Rauner has worked tirelessly to obstruct the Senate’s progress and prevent the passage of a balanced budget.
 
Meanwhile, Governor Rauner’s cabinet members have yet to identify any budget cuts and can’t find any fraud, waste or abuse in state government spending.
 
Governor Rauner claims to be a champion of government reform, but recent budget hearings revealed millions of dollars in Rauner administration executive bonuses, secretive lease deals and fast-tracked patronage hiring. We know Illinoisans have a lot of questions for Governor Rauner and his administration.
 
So, as elected representatives, we’re ready to help you get your questions answered.
 
If you have a question you’d like the Rauner administration to answer, you can submit it anonymously at www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/heygov.

Category: Latest

Category: Latest

A Safe Place logoIt has been nearly two years since Illinois had a full budget. As a result, many human service providers have been forced to cut back on services and lay off staff. One organization that has been impacted is A Safe Place, a domestic violence support center in Zion that serves more than 15,000 individuals each year. 

Since it was founded in 1980, A Safe Place has grown into a $2.2 million agency with seven offices across Lake County. Services include emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis line, legal advocacy, permanent housing, case management, individual and group therapy, mentoring programs, supervised family visitation and custody exchanges, and more.

“Until recently, A Safe Place served 16,000 individuals each year, but because domestic violence organizations were left out of the stopgap budget, last year we were only able to help 13,000 people,” said Pat Davenport, Executive Director of A Safe Place.

A Safe Place gets half of its funding from fundraising and the other half comes from the state. But because of the budget impasse, A Safe Place’s emergency shelter is operating at 75 percent capacity. For victims of domestic violence, being able to flee to a shelter could be the difference between life and death.

“In roughly 80 percent of domestic violence related murders, the victim had already left the abuser or was in the process of leaving,” Davenport said. “Due to the lack of state funding, our domestic violence shelter has been forced to turn away over 500 individuals who were fleeing for their lives, leaving them with limited options: return to the abuser or risk homelessness.”

A Safe Place depends on state funding to cover all payroll costs. As a result, they have been unable to fill open positions and have had to scale back their services.

“If we continue scaling back our services, it won’t just impact the thousands of domestic violence victims who rely on us, but it will also have a ripple effect across the community as other organizations would have to pick up where we left off,” Davenport said.

“When a victim of domestic violence flees, the last thing they should have to worry about is being turned away from a shelter. It’s inexcusable,” Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “Governor Rauner’s budget crisis has had a devastating impact on countless Illinoisans. Not one more victim should be turned away from A Safe Place because the governor chooses to put politics before people.”

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