Illinois Sending Layoff Notices to 2,600 Employees

July 08, 2009

Governor Pat Quinn began today the process of cutting 2,600 state jobs while sending a portion of the budget back to lawmakers with recommendations on how to cut $1 billion to help balance it.

Quinn could have made some of the cuts himself, but instead chose to veto a budget bill and leave it to lawmakers.

Lawmakers aren't due back at work at the Capitol until next week, but Illinois has been without a spending plan since a new fiscal year started July 1 with Quinn and lawmakers at an impasse over the budget.

Quinn wants an income tax increase to help fill a budget deficit he estimates at $9.2 billion, while some lawmakers have said they wouldn't even consider a tax increase without cuts, spending reforms and government efficiencies.

One of the programs targeted for budget cuts is Illinois Cares Rx, which serves low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Governor Quinn has proposed cutting the program by $40 million, or 25 percent.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services says that would affect about 150,000 people. They would not lose their coverage completely, but they would have to pay more for their medicine.

Story source: AP