Even though it has lasted nearly a year and a half, most Illinois voters say they haven’t personally felt the effects of the state budget impasse. That’s according to a poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, which is based at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
More than 60 percent of respondents to the statewide poll said they haven’t been affected by the lack of a state budget. Under the impasse, social services and higher education have been left with much less funding than in typical budget years.
Of those who said they have felt an impact, nearly half pointed to cuts to social services. John Jackson, a professor with the institute, says the next most common response was from voters who say they’ve felt economic effects. “They did say jobs and either a direct threat to their job, or that they had somebody in their family that had direct affect with respect to jobs,” he says.
Social service agencies and many higher education institutions have made layoffs to cope with the budget hit they’ve taken under the impasse.
Illinois residents may not be feeling the sting of the budget crisis, but many would still like to pack up and move out of the state. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute's survey of voters found that 47 percent of Illinoisans would like to leave the state. However, 51 percent said they’d rather stick around. Jackson says that people’s main reasons for wanting to leave have to do with their wallets and the weather. “Taxes came out first and climate came out second. Well you can’t do anything much about the climate. So that leaves public policy and officials to deal with the issue of taxes,”he says.
Jackson says that Illinois isn’t a high-tax state overall, but he says property taxes are high when compared with other states.