CBS 2: Democratic Lawmakers Protest Gov. Rauner’s Proposed Funding Cut For Humboldt Park Pre-School

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/03/30/democratic-lawmakers-protest-gov-rauners-proposed-funding-cut-for-humboldt-park-pre-school/

By Regine Schlesinger

March 30, 2015

CHICAGO (CBS) — Four Democratic state lawmakers are rallying to the defense of a unique Chicago pre-school that would lose its $390,000 grant, under Governor Rauner’s proposed budget for next year, reports WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger.

“Eliminating this small amount of money solves no problems for the state budget,” says Cathy Krieger, CEO of the Children’s Place in Humboldt Park.

The center provides an early learning program for 73 toddlers whose medical conditions preclude their enrollment anywhere else. State Senator Heather Steans says cutting its funding, is typical of the governor’s approach.

“This is another very, very pointed example of sort of backwards, I think very short-sighted budgeting: penny-wise, pound-foolish.”

State Representative Will Guzzardi says the governor can’t cut his way out of the state’s fiscal hole.

“It is patently unrealistic to suggest that we are going to solve our budget problem with cuts alone which is the proposal that the governor has led with,” Guzzardi said. “We are going to need real meaningful new sources of revenue.”

The lawmakers say Governor Rauner should visit the Children’s Place to see that the relatively small subsidy the state provides is money well-spent.

In a statement, the Rauner administration says, “The last three administrations have sought to reduce funding to Children’s Place. Instead of focusing on a specific pre-school, Governor Rauner’s budget increases overall funding to early-childhood education by $25 million, while protecting services for families impacted by HIV/AIDS.”