Area mayors air state budget woes in Belleville

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Eleven regional mayors, including Mayors Kevin Hutchinson and Tom Smith, of Columbia and Waterloo, came together Wednesday at the Belleville City Hall to express dismay at proposed cuts in distribution of income tax funds from the State of Illinois. (Alan Dooley photo)

Mayors of 11 area municipalities joined forces in Belleville Wednesday, at the city hall there, to express dismay over proposed cuts in the State’s Local Government Distributive Fund that would take place in July this year if passed in Springfield. Two Monroe County municipal leaders, Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson and Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith, were there with area colleagues.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed a 50 percent cut to funds that go to municipal governments. If passed, those cuts would impact Columbia by $480,497 and Waterloo by $480,444. This cut is to help close the state’s $6 billion budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year, Rauner has said.

The assembled elected leaders were unanimous in agreement that the state has mismanaged its finances for many years, while their communities have been obligated to develop and live under balanced budgets that have survived the recent recession and even built reserve funds to meet future expenses and emergencies.

To learn more about this meeting, read next week’s Republic-Times, which will be on newsstands April 29.

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