This year, as the state Legislature faces the annual challenge of adopting a budget for the coming year, the YWCA of the Sauk Valley urges legislators to consider a basic principle: people matter.
Because people matter, our state budget must include adequate funding for human services. At the YWCA, state funding supports our services to hundreds of survivors of violence every year. Thanks to state funds, we are able to support and assist people as they recuperate and pull their lives back together.
We want to be there for school children, so they can learn about their rights to feel safe, strong, and free from sexual abuse, bullying, and harassment.
We need to be there for families as they rebuild their lives. We have seen the huge difference we can make, helping people stay safer as they build confidence, independence, and a better life.
The governor has released two budget options. One would reduce our services by at least 25 percent – meaning that we might have to turn away many, many people who need help.
The other option, the governor’s recommended budget, would allow us to keep our full range of services, which are essential to our neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends.
We ask everyone to join us in asking our legislators to support the governor’s recommended budget. Because people matter ... they really do.
Note to readers: Carol Fitzgerald is executive director of the YWCA of the Sauk Valley.