How Budget Cuts Endanger At-Risk Youth

The budget standoff in Illinois is threatening the state’s most vulnerable residents.

In These Times and Kartemquin Films May 25, 2017

As a result of the standoff in Springfield, social services have seen dramatic cuts.

Illi­nois has not passed a real bud­get in near­ly two years, the first state to go that long with­out a bud­get since the Great Depres­sion. Repub­li­can Gov. Bruce Rauner has refused to sign off any bud­get that doesn’t also cur­tail col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing rights, lead­ing to a show­down with the state’s Democrats. 

Much atten­tion has been paid to the pol­i­tics of this fight, but what do the effects of the lin­ger­ing cri­sis look like in people’s day-to-day lives? Strand­ed by the State—an 8‑part video series pro­duced in part­ner­ship with Kartemquin Films — fol­lows the fam­i­lies, work­ers and stu­dents liv­ing through these de fac­to bud­get cuts, show­ing the ways they dete­ri­o­rate the fab­ric of Illi­nois communities.

The series incor­po­rates data con­nect­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Illi­nois to long-term trends of aus­ter­i­ty nation­wide — includ­ing the stag­ger­ing cuts pro­posed in Pres­i­dent Trump’s first budget.

This episode looks at the effects of the bud­get cri­sis on pro­grams aimed at help­ing at-risk youth. As a result of the stand­off in Spring­field, social ser­vices have seen dra­mat­ic cuts — often up to 40 percent. 

These pro­grams are vital to pro­tect­ing the state’s most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents, who are the ones fac­ing the brunt of the cutbacks. 

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