Probation Services Will Decrease If Income Tax Drops
By Bria Purdiman
The Illinois legislative session is set to end May 31st, and the votes needed to make the current income tax permanent are lacking. The possible tax decrease would damage state probation services.
A bill was passed in 2011 imposing a temporary 5 percent income tax hike. Without 60 House votes to make this bill permanent, Illinois income tax will drop to 3.75 percent in January.
This will lead to large budget cuts, with probation services taking a huge hit.
Probation allows an offender to remain in the community instead of going to jail.
There is a concern that if budget cuts are implemented, those on probation won't be properly monitored. Director of Probation and Court Services for Vermilion County, Thomas Gregory said, "Unfortunately, they won’t be.”
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice, Rita B. Garman said probation services are already funded at less than 65 percent of the level required by law.
Gregory said the safety of the public should be the government’s top priority.
“We need to push money to probation. If they’re not going to go to prison and they’re not going to be on probation, or they’re not going to be enough probation officers to monitor them, public safety will be at risk,” Gregory said.
Currently, there are only 34 votes in favor of the permanent income tax hike.