Governor Bruce Rauner forsees that a lack of a state budget could bring a crime spike in Illinois.
He says, “So far, we’re not seeing any increase in crime … but at some point it will.”
The lack of a state budget has hurt funding for many social services programs, like Redeploy Illinois, a statewide agency that helps troubled teens that land behind bars.
Mary Ellen Commere of Youth Services Network says, “[Teens] are ordered by the court to come to services, and basically we provide individual counseling, family counseling.”
She says Youth Services Network suspended the program last October due to low funds. Her organization stood alongside local law enforcement agencies, and Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey, back in January, pleading for a budget to pass after a rash of juvenile crimes occurred.
She says, “We feel like the juvenile crime, especially in the summer, could increase.”
Republican State Representative John Cabello agrees things could get worse in Rockford, if the stalemate continues.
He says, “I think there will be some impact in our crime, but how high it’s gonna go, I’m not sure.”
On the democratic side, State Representative Litesa Wallace has pushed to restore funding for many social services programs across the Forest City, and says she is puzzled by the governor’s comment.
She says, “I think the pressure of going into a second year without a state budget is why he wants to talk about it. However, last year he vetoed measures that would have funded programs like the one he suggested needs to be funded.”