By John Dillon. John blogs at Pension Vocabulary.
If you’re a child about to emerge into this world of Illinois, current statistics indicate you’ll have a bit better than 20% chance of being born into poverty. Not that you’ll have any choice in the matter.
But you won’t be alone.
If you live in Cook County, you’ll be just one of nearly 311,000 kids with too little and a significantly lesser chance of a meaningful life (up from 264,000 in 1999). The numbers in Springfield, Illinois, where the Governor warned us there may be some pain as he turns Illinois around, have nearly doubled in that same time frame; from 6,103 to 11,457.
Ten percent of those children will dwell in the lowest shelf of “deep poverty.” That is, those poor souls living at 50% or more of poverty. A single mother and child with an income of less than $8000 per year. A family of three, at less than $10,000.
According to the Fiscal Policy Center’s latest brief: “The harm is widespread – ranging from afterschool programs and autism services to lifesaving cancer and HIV screening and support services for seniors. While many providers of these critical services have been given contracts to continue to provide services at the level of the last fiscal year (which ended June 30), others have been issued new contracts with lower service levels. In either case, outside of consent decrees and federal pass-through funds, many critical state priorities still lack state funding. As a result, even providers that are pillars of the public service delivery system such as Lutheran Social Services have been forced to lay off staff, turn away those in need, and shut program doors “