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March 24, 2017
According to a statewide poll of registered voters taken by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Illinois voters are deeply divided over how to handle the state’s budget impasse. Given three options for addressing the deficit, 45% favor cutting waste and inefficiency as the only way to handle the problem, while 11% favor a tax increase. However, 35% agreed with the statement that the state budget crisis will require both budget cuts and an increase in revenue. When the 35% who chose this option are added to the 11% who say they favor a tax increase, the result is 46% who favor both raising taxes and cutting spending, while 45% believe that cutting waste and inefficiency is sufficient.
 
Disability rates vary significantly across the U.S. Although the national trend of higher disability rates in rural counties persists at the regional and even divisional level, it is clear that disability in rural America is not homogeneous. Rates of rural disability range from around 15% in the Great Plains to 21% in the central South. A variety of factors may be behind these regional and rural differences, including differences in demographics, economic patterns, health and service access and state disability policies.
 
 
In honor of the International Day of Forests (March 21) and World Water Day (March 22), the World Resources Institute shared this graphic of the interaction and mutual benefits of healthy forests and clean water.

 
UPCOMING EVENTS

March 29 - Illinois Farmers Market Assn. Annual Statewide Conference, Chicago, IL
March 31 - Rural Business Development Grant deadline
April 6 - Local Food Lobby Day, Springfield, IL
June 11-14, 2017 Community Development Society Conference, Big Sky, MT
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