Poll Shows Majority of Voters Not Impacted by Budget Impasse, Social Service Groups Still Looking for Help

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Illinois continues operating without a full state budget for the second year in a row, but motivation to get a long term deal done has been stifled in Springfield, due in part to a contentious election ahead in November. Others blame the lack of highly visible impacts of the impasse: no government shutdown, no immediate crisis.

A new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois says 62 percent of respondents saw no effect for themselves or their immediate family members from the budget stalemate.

But the Responsible Budget Coalition says the damage goes deeper than poll numbers show.

"They're cutting services, laying off staff, some are closing their doors," says Elizabeth Austin, Communications Manager for the coalition of more than 300 organizations pushing for a budget deal to fully fund social services across the state. Those services range from child care, to drug treatment, help for the homeless or the unemployed.

Indeed,  of the 34 percent who say they were affected, 47 percent said they lost services and another 18 percent said their jobs were either lost, or threatened.

"These aren't services we do because they are nice, these are services that are necessary that we have funded in Illinois for decades, under Democrats and Republicans. It's a bipartisan issue," Austin says.

State lawmakers head back to Springfield on November 15th. It's unclear whether or not a budget compromise that includes funding for social services Democrats want, as well as political reforms Gov. Bruce Rauner wants, will be passed.

You can share how the budget impasse has impacted your life with us here.