The latest poll out of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale finds that the state budget impasse personally impacted 34 percent of survey respondents.
In the poll of 1,000 voters, 64 percent said they were unaffected by the budget impasse. Specifically, the question asked poll respondents whether they or someone in their immediate family were affected by the budget stalemate.
"I'm surprised more people aren't feeling affected by this deadlock in Springfield," the Simon Institute's Director David Yepsen said in a news release. "I thought the numbers of people impacted would be increasing as it wore on but it's also true many people aren't impacted by changes in government services."
Those impacted by the impasse said they were most affected in the areas of social services, job loss or threat of a loss and K-12 education, according to the poll.
The poll, conducted September 27 through October 2, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
John Bouman, president of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and chair of the Responsible Budget Coalition's executive committee, issued a statement Wednesday in response to the poll findings:
34 percent of respondents said they were personally affected by the budget crisis. The poll confirms what the Responsible Budget Coalition's network of advocates and providers already know - over one million people have already been hurt by the loss of jobs and services because of Illinois' failure to pass a fully funded, responsible budget. Millions more are threatened as the impasse continues.
In the wake of the stopgap budget Band-Aid, news stories about budget impasse have dropped from the front pages. That doesn't cover the fact that real people and businesses continue to be negatively impacted by the direct and indirect costs of the collective failure to produce a real budget.
These numbers should get the attention of lawmakers who have turned their eyes away from Springfield in favor of a focus on elections. The effects of inaction are felt by voters in every legislative district. While the poll clearly shows that voters favor differing approaches to resolving the crisis, they all want it solved responsibly and quickly.