Evanston urges residents to lobby Springfield against funding cuts

Jia You, City Editor

Evanston officials are asking residents to lobby state legislators to prevent potential cuts to local funding.

The city spread the word over email Tuesday as budget discussion in Springfield drew to a close. Some lawmakers have targeted the Local Government Distributive Fund, which consists of local revenues collected and distributed by the state as a way to reduce the Illinois’ deficit. The city estimates the cut, if approved, could reduce Evanston’s revenue by $450,000 to $860,000.

“The council wants residents to know that decisions being made in Springfield on funding choices does affect residents here in Evanston,” said Matt Swentkofske, the city’s intergovernmental affairs coordinator.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said reducing the LGDF could severely impact city services.

“Local governments have been making responsible budget choices to reduce costs,” Tisdahl said in a news release. “Reductions of the Local Government Distributive Fund from Springfield will cut right down to the bone. It will effect city services or force a property tax increase.”

Swentkofske said city officials discussed the issue with state legislators during their trip to Springfield on Evanston Day in March. He urged residents to contact their state representatives as well.

Concerned residents can contact state Sens. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Heather Steans (D-Chicago), and state Reps. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) and Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

Jia You