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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Illinois Budget Cuts: $6.25 million out of CeaseFire

The governor also cut a $250,000 grant for Rockford CeaseFire, the grass-roots antiviolence program. In fact, he eliminated state funding for every CeaseFire program in Illinois, a total cut of $6.25 million.

Willie Ashford, violence-prevention coordinator at Rockford CeaseFire, said he didn’t know how much longer the program could operate without the annual grant, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of its budget.

“We’re going to have to look at different funding areas,” he said. “I’ve been writing some grants. We’re looking at some fundraising. We just might have to downsize.”
-- Gov. amends budget: Several projects won’t get state funding

This actually is from August, but it's coming out again in light of recent budget talks as well as the recent streaks of violence we've seen here in Chicago. I bring it up here as an example of lopsided government. Our governor spends over a million defending a fruitless challenge against video games because, according to him, they spur violence - but when comes to curbing actual violence ... he cuts the budget.

On the surface, CeaseFire seems like a solid investment. The average cost per site is $250,000 while every shooting in Chicago costs about $300,000 in court and hospital fees. Maybe if our politicians spent more time actually governing and less time trying to scare soccer moms into voting because little Jimmy might just play some Halo after school - we'd all be better off.

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