A new report on Governor Quinn’s proposed 2010 budget finds good and bad news for women and girls.
Federal stimulus funding is providing stopgap relief for critical services, while state funding is cut or left at 2009 levels in almost every program outlined in the report.
“Budgets are moral documents. They show what our real priorities are,” says Kelly White, executive director of Chicago Foundation for Women. “Women-headed families already make up a disproportionate amount of families in poverty. Women should be at the center of the budget-making process because they are the ones who use state aid programs and who stand to benefit the most.”
Chicago Foundation for Women commissioned Voices for Illinois Children’s report, “Federal Recovery Funds and the State Budget: Implications for Women and Girls.” To balance the budget, the report suggests, we must identify new and lasting revenue sources, not rely on spending cuts to programs that can make life better for women and girls.
“It’s crucial that we protect the programs and services that are so needed by Illinois women and girls,” says Gaylord Gieseke, interim president of Voices for Illinois Children. “By investing in girls and their families, many of which are women-headed, we’re investing in the future leaders of Illinois.”
The report examines the budget line-by-line in the areas of education, economic security, health, freedom from violence and energy to see how women and girls are affected.
Education and Medicaid, both key to women’s and girls’ well-being, are shielded from cuts thanks to federal funding from the federal stimulus package. Stimulus funds are also used for temporary increases to food and nutrition programs, job training, child care, domestic violence services and early intervention for children with developmental disabilities.
On the other hand, cuts are proposed to homeless youth programs, prenatal services for women with high-risk pregnancies, sexual assault programs, child support enforcement and teen parent services.
An executive summary with policy recommendations and the full budget analysis are available online at cfw.org/Illinois2010.
About the Chicago Foundation for Women
The Chicago Foundation for Women gives money and resources to projects that put women and girls first. It also educates the public and policymakers about obstacles to women’s and girls’ human rights: economic security, freedom from violence and access to health services. Since 1986, it has awarded more than 2,600 grants totaling nearly $16 million to hundreds of Chicago-area and statewide organizations. It also achieves social justice through advocacy, leadership development and public and grantee education.
Laura Fletcher, 312-577-2824