Slashing Local Government Distributive Funds

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CARLINVILLE - Major cuts were proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in his first budget address. In February the Gov. spoke about slashing funds across the board, including for local government.

On Monday, State Senators Andy Manar and Sam McCann and local law enforcement came together in Macoupin County in hopes of finding a better solution.

"There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Gov. Rauner has inherited quit a mess," said Senator Sam McCann, (R)- Carlinville.

So much so, that the governor proposed to slash about half a billion dollars from the Local Government Distributive Fund that cities, counties and villages receive from state income taxes.

"We know that we have significant challenges facing us in this state and they are financial challenges and they are deep and they are many," said Senator Andy Manar, (D)- Bunker Hill.

Cutting that much money to local government, Senator Manar said, he has a problem with.

Along with the Bunker Hill Democrat are Senator McCann and three Macoupin County mayors who have similar feelings.

"If it'll go through it will be over $103,000. We got 24 hour protection and we will have to think about downgrading that quit a bit," said the mayor of Bunker Hill.

"According to the slated cut we would be at an $84,000 cut," said the Mayor of Girard.

"If this passes with a $74,000 loss we cannot afford to take that. I mean our taxes are maxed out. We can't raise property taxes. We have very little business. Our main street is dead,” said the Mayor of Benld, Gloria Sida.

Mayor Sida said, those deep cuts will effect the entire county. Especially because they rely on each other. Sida said she would not be able to go to the sheriff's department for services, because they will have to make cuts too.

"A lot of people don't realize that we maintain a jail with an average of 30-40 prisoners a day. We run it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week,” said the sheriff of Macoupin County, Shawn Kahl.

"It's just putting everybody's safety at stake," added Mayor Sida.

Senator McCann has a solution. Instead of cutting local government he said the Gov. should cut Medicaid.

"Three out of four children will be paid for by Medicaid. I'm not talking about Medicare. I'm a big fan of the social safety net. The problem is that if everybody gets in the net, eventually the net breaks," said Senator McCann.

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