Another exciting week of advocacy for The Arc.

This morning I was a guest speaker on The Arc’s Position on Physician Assisted Suicide
with Bob Gilligan, on the Catholic Conference Radio Show. The Arc takes many formal
positions on important issues related to individuals with intellectual and other
developmental. The Arc strongly opposes physician assisted suicide for people with ID.
I brought this serious issue to our national organization many years ago and worked
with Arc U.S. and Not Dead Yet to craft our position. We are concerned that how that
California has made
physician assisted suicide legal, moves might be underway here in Illinois.

Tomorrow we host our Annual Update on Health Care Reform for Children & Adults
with Special Needs
. It is a extremely informative agenda with state experts on health
care reform here in Illinois.

Thursday Arc President Terri Devine and I will host Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc of
the United States
for a discussion on national and Illinois interests. We look forward
to meeting
with Peter who has been an outstanding CEO for The Arc.

Peter Berns

Story on the budget tragedy as it continues.


Former Gov. Jim Edgar urges Gov. Bruce Rauner to quit holding budget

By Bernard Schoenburg, Political Writer

The lack of a budget four months into the fiscal year has destabilized state government,
and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner should quit holding a state spending plan hostage
to a list of demands because permanent damage is being done, former Gov. Jim Edgar
said Friday.

“State government’s probably in the worst state it’s been in the 47 years that I’ve been
around (it),” Edgar, a fellow Republican, told The State Journal-Register in an interview
from his Springfield home. “You’ve got dozens and dozens of programs that aren’t
being funded, agencies that are having trouble doing their mission, and I just think it’s
very unfortunate.”

“We need a budget,” he added. “These other issues, they’re important, some of them I
think more important than others, but you don’t hold the budget hostage to get those. …
It has been very destabilizing for state government. I think a lot of people have suffered.”

Rauner vetoed most of the budget the the General Assembly passed last spring, saying
it was out of balance. He did sign the education budget, so elementary and secondary
schools have been receiving state funds for the fiscal year that began July 1. In all,
about 90 percent of state spending — at last year’s levels — is going out under court
orders, consent decrees and state statutes.

Edgar, who was a lawmaker and secretary of state before serving as governor from
1991 to 1999, campaigned for Rauner in the general election last year, and he said he
repeatedly told Rauner of the importance of having a budget.

“I think he listened,” Edgar said. “I don’t think he necessarily agreed with it, apparently.”

Rauner has said he wants business and governmental reforms to make Illinois more
attractive for business before he will agree to a budget. But Edgar said the budget
standoff has the opposite effect.

“An unstable state government — and that’s what we have right now, very unstable —
is a detriment to economic growth,” he said. “I mean, folks aren’t going to come to this
state and make an investment if they think state government’s dysfunctional.”

Edgar, who is a senior fellow with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and
Public Affairs, noted that no higher education budget is in force. He said the U of I has
a lot of reserves and can cover costs for a while, but other institutions “are really getting
into trouble. … I’m not sure how long that can go.”

“One of the strengths this state’s had for years is … a great higher education system,”
he said. “I think that is in jeopardy now.”

When he was governor, Edgar said, CEOs of companies would tell him that they’d
wanted tax breaks and lower workers’ compensation costs, ” ‘but most important, we
want a stable, dependable state government. We want an education system that works.
We want a good quality of life.’ ”

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)