Two-part doc puts a human face on state budget crisis

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Stranded by the State,” is a two-part documentary special presented by Urbana-based Illinois Public Media  focusing on the long-term toll that the Illinois budget crisis is taking on everyday people across the state.

Directed, edited and produced by Kartemquin associate Liz Kaar, through a collaboration of Kartemquin Films and In These Times magazine, the 60-minute special airing in two 30-minute parts, will begin airing on PBS stations in eight of Illinois’ largest cities, starting Feb. 14, the day before Gov. Bruce Rauner’s state budget address.

“Illinois has not passed a budget in nearly two years and our special reveals what the crisis means for ordinary citizens throughout the state,” says Kaar.

Filmmaker Liz KaarShe hopes to take the doc on a screening and discussion tour across Illinois in the spring “to give communities a chance to comment and have a productive discussion on how to move forward. The stories we present show that the repercussions of the budget impasse will be felt for a very long time,” she says.

“There’s been plenty of coverage of the politics behind the budget stalemate in Springfield, but not enough on its impact on families and communities,” says Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan, CEO of Illinois Public Media.

The special focuses on six different aspects of the crisis: higher education, at-risk youth, homelessness, seniors, explores how the situation in Illinois connects to long-term trends of austerity affecting the country at large, and demonstrates how such measures can ultimately cost taxpayers more in the long run.

It further explores how the situation in Illinois connects to long-term trends of austerity affecting the country at large, and demonstrates how such measures can ultimately cost taxpayers more in the long run. Find out more here and follow the hashtag #StrandedIL.

Now a new question emerges — not just when or if a budget will finally pass — but how long will it take to reverse the damage done?” asks Kaar.

Here’s the broadcast schedule for “Stranded by the State” on Illinois PBS stations in Urbana-Champaign and Charleston, Feb. 14; Macomb / Quincy / Springfield and the Quad Cities, Feb. 16; Chicago, Feb. 16 and Feb. 23; Peoria, Feb. 17 and Carbondale, Feb. 18.

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