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March 2016

Illinois: It's Time to Pay Up

Layoffs, service cuts and wait lists have become the new normal for nonprofits in Illinois. After nine months without a budget, the State owes some social service organizations over $168 million in back payments. These organizations, providing services that aren't mandated by court decree, are afraid their FY 2016 contracts will never be paid out.

The stoppage of State payments is already causing problems for social service agencies and the people who rely on them. Lutheran Social Services, one of the State's largest and most respected social service organizations, laid off 750 people in January. CEO Mark Stutrud said the budget was to blame, saying "we are owed more than $6 million by the State for services delivered."

Lutheran Social Services isn't alone. Catholic Charities hasn't been receiving State money for home care services for seniors, and more than 25,000 seniors are at risk of losing services across Cook and Lake Counties.

Learn more on the damaging extent of the budget stalemate. Read this great report from the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children. It details programs that aren't receiving State funding, including Support Services for Seniors, Substance Use and Prevention Programs and Centers for Independent Living, among many others, and how the loss of State cash is severely limiting their ability to support Illinois' most vulnerable residents.

From our blog

CILS Hard HitCILS empower people with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community, but are struggling without over $4 million in FY 16 budget money from the State of Illinois along with other funds specific to certain disability programs they run.

Without State funding CILs have had to resort to a variety of cost-cutting measures, including cutting services, laying off staff, reducing staff hours and delaying hiring new staff. Some CILs are developing contingency plans if State money doesn't come soon enough.

There's a human cost to these cuts. The President of the Illinois Network for Centers for Independent Living, Ann Ford estimates that 800 to1,100 people with disabilities have gone without services. She urges people to contact the Governor, State senators and representatives to urge them to work on a budget solution ASAP so that disability services are not further impacted. Read more...

In case you missed it

GOP TRYING TO KILLTHE ACAThis time,House Republicans are using their proposed budget to eliminate Obamacare.Their budget would also turn Medicaid into a block-grant program.

FEWER PEOPLE MAY LIGHT UP IN CHICAGOThe city is upping the minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21, increasing taxes on cigars and banning chewing tobacco at stadiums. New age limits may become Statewide: Springfield lawmakers introduced a bill setting 21 as the minimum age to buy tobacco products.

PARTNERING FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION Mt. Sinai and Cease Fire are working on a program thattargets patients who come to the hospital's trauma center for gun shot wounds. In addition to crisis intervention support, CeaseFire case managers will connect victims and their families with social services after discharge.

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