Most of the candidates agreed that human services are
necessary in the
The human services debate also delves into the state's budget crunch, which prompted a question for candidates about restructuring Illinois'debt.
"The state owes to human service providers $750,000,000," said 34th District senate candidate Steve Stadelman (D).
"It seems to make sense to restructure that debt, take advantage of the lower interest rates and take advantage of the lower interest rates that are available."
His opponent, real-estate agent Frank Gambino (R), says restructuring the debt is worth taking a look at.
"The idea of restructuring debt is an option; however it's only an option if you're going to restructure your expenditures," said Gambino.
"You cannot restructure debt without restructuring expenditures. You know debt restructuring is a short term solution to the problem that we have. We need long term solutions."
Rep. John Cabello (R- 68th District), agrees with Gambino saying it's worth a look, but not he's not completely sold on it. His opponent, Ald. Carl Wasco (D - 4th Ward), says he supports debt restructuring. Cabello also mentioned he believes state legislators should go without pay until the debt problem is resolved. Rep. Chuck Jefferson (D - 67thDistrict) says he disagrees that legislators should go without pay because they too have bills to pay. Cabello says he believes that's the only way legislators will get serious about the state's financial situation.
Another question of the ten questions posed to candidates Monday night was whether or not candidates would commit to not cutting funding to human services.
"No I cannot commit that I would not cut, because I believe that there are plenty of things that we can do to reduce the costs of what we're doing," said Cabello.
"There's plenty of people that are on these services that don't need to be there."
Wasco mentioned that part of Cabello's plan involves cutting 10% across the board to every department in the state. He believes there shouldn't be cuts to existing services, but only if there can be some consolidation.
"I'd agree not to cut the services, as long as all the service providers work with the state to find the accountability to find the efficiencies in the system to save some dollars and that's what we need to do," said Wasco.
Candidate Gambino agreed with Wasco saying that there needs to be some consolidation and an increase in the private-public partnerships to help save human services. Stadelman said he would agree not to cut human services, and Rep. Jefferson also mentioned that the state cannot afford to cut any more services.
"We cannot afford to cut those organizations that need help the most. You know we have to look at every organization that's out there individually," said