The Governor of the great State of Illinois, President of the Senate, Emil Jones and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan are currently playing a game of chicken. Who is going to swerve first? Who is going to come out on top? Who is going to win?
I have no idea. What I do know is this:
A 3-year-old little girl with Down syndrome and a catastrophic seizure disorder is caught in the middle of their silly game and posturing.
She is one among thousands of Illinois individuals affected by the sweeping budget cuts by our local government.
61 MILLION dollars cut statewide to Developmental Services Agencies.
36 MILLION dollars cut statewide to Mental Health Agencies.
55 MILLION dollars cut statewide to Drug and Alcohol programs.
These programs represent only 4% of the State of Illinois budget. These programs are on the receiving end of over 12% in cuts. HUH? Billing for services provided to children and adults within Developmental Services Center in Champaign Illinois in the month of April 2008 not paid to date. HUH?
Think this doesn’t affect YOU? Well I can assure you that is does. What will happen to those consumers left without services? They are in our community. They are a part of our lives. All of us know or love someone who has gone through addiction, disability, or mental health illness.
Emil Jones does not want to open up a special session to restore cuts to the budget because he doesn’t want to deal with the current Ethics Bill that is waiting. He wants the November elections to happen, THEN, and ONLY THEN will he go back into session. HUH?
Emil – it begs the question to you; do you think we are stupid? Do you think I would ever in my lifetime want to vote for a Democrat based upon your knee jerk, ego infested, out of touch with your constituents – attitude??
Why in the world would I vote for a Senator from a corrupt state, running for President? Why would I vote for Barak Obama when YOU are his mentor? Change? No my friend – no change. Just crooks and corrupt politicans at their very best.
The following is an excerpt from Janice McAteer’s moving speech she gave to our local elected officials.
“I am the parent of a high school child with developmental disabilities. I am also the youngest sibling of a sister who is legally blind and has developmental disabilities.
In six very short years, my daughter will turn 21 years old. On that day, I wonder, will I be completely enmeshed in her celebration, or will there just be a smile on my face. A mask of sorts, while my mind and heart are filled with trepidation and worry about what her position is on a waiting list to receive the services she will need to be the most productive citizen as possible. There are currently waiting lists for every program in Champaign County that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities…some of which are year’s long.
So, I ask all of you….if being 51st AND FAILING feels right in the pit of your stomach, do nothing; but if it makes you feel as queasy and angry as it makes me, stand up, make your voice heard and let our lawmakers know enough is enough. Illinois deserves more, our children and families deserve more and we are going to fight for what is right.
It is not right for parents to pray that they live just one day longer than their son or daughter who has a developmental disability.”
I am in agreement with Janice on her ending paragraph. I want to live just one day longer then Larkin. I pray every single day for her safety and I protect her with my very life. How does that make you feel? How does knowing that there are those of us that hope that we bury our children just one day before ourselves, make you feel? To know that we do not trust ANYONE to care or protect our child based upon the experiences we have.
Everyone – please join us today (and everyday as long as it takes) in calling Emil Jones’ office and the Governor’s office.
The message we heard on Wednesday night from our Senator and Representatives was that we are not speaking up loud enough, that our voices are not being heard.
They said their offices were flooded with phone calls regarding the park closings, but advocates for human services are not overwhelming them in that same way. I care about our parks but grass can grow and trees will be ok. Larkin will not. Larkin will lose the most in this sick, demeaning game of chicken.
The word is that Jones doesn’t have any energy for this because he’s retiring. Illinois is ranked 51st in funding for human services, and these enormous cuts will help us beat even that great score.
Now there is a special session called for Monday September 22 at 1:00. This special session called for the special ethics bill because Obama (under pressure – yeah he is a reformer all right) called Emil Jones and put him under pressure to go back into session and vote on the special ethics bill. HOWEVER (isn’t there always a however) because of Senate rules, they cannot hear on another issue except the special ethics bill.
What is necessary is for Emil Jones to call for another special session immediately following the end of the first special session in order to restore the budget cuts. WILL YOU DO THIS EMIL JONES?? WILL YOU AS CITIZENS CALL HIS OFFICE AND PRESSURE HIM??
There is something majorly wrong with our State Legislative system if our elected officials are not allowed to go in and vote an issue either up or down – based upon one individual (Emil Jones) not willing to call them into session.
Emil Jones, Senate President
Governor’s office – 217-782-6830