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Illinois General Fund
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jul 9, 2013

Chicago Activists Speak Out Against Public Service Cuts, Offer Alternatives

The concept of a social safety net in Illinois is under attack, according to Chicago activists who spoke out at a forum Monday evening regarding threats to public services. Members of the the Alliance For Community Services and other groups offered up various ways to avoid future social services cuts. Progress Illinois was there to learn more.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jun 28, 2013

Report: The Coal Industry Drained Nearly $20 Million From 2011 Illinois Budget

Illinois’ net costs to regulate and support the coal industry chipped away $19.8 million from the state’s budget in fiscal year 2011, a new report by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and Downstream Strategies shows.

In the same year, tax incentives and grant programs for the coal industry cost the Prairie State $12.6 million, according to the report, "The Impact of Coal on the Illinois State Budget" (PDF). Without factoring in coal-related revenues, the state’s coal industry expenditures totaled $66 million in the 2011 budget year, researchers found.

Environmental advocates from the Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network, Faith in Place and the Eco-Justice Collaborative, which all helped commission the report, were overall baffled by the findings.

“You have to wonder why in the world we as taxpayers would be giving money to companies that are engaged in activities that directly threaten our environment, and as this report shows, are costing us money,” said Jack Darin, director of Illinois’ Sierra Club, on a conference call with reporters Thursday.