Advocates Ask For Long-Term View Ahead Of Speech
Advocates for social service groups are asking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to consider the long-term negative impacts of the budget stalemate ahead of his State of the State address.
From laying off staff to cutting afterschool programs, a group of Chicago agencies detailed problems on Tuesday that have emerged as the first-term Republican governor and legislative Democrats remain deadlocked on a budget agreement.
Emily Miller is a director at Voices for Illinois Children. She says Illinois is weak and "getting weaker.'' That's because layoffs at state-funded social service groups mean fewer services and other damage that'll take years to repair.
Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago helps low-income families. The organization has laid off eight full time workers. It's also had to cut back on technology and afterschool programs affecting at least 250 people.
Executive Director Celena Roldan says those families need a place to go.
The head of Illinois' largest provider of human-services programs, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois CEO Mark Stutrud, says the Republican governor and legislators should raise taxes to help the state generate revenue to pay for safety-net programs.
Stutrud's group announced last week that because there's no state budget they will close 30 of its programs and lay off 750 employees.
The governor's address will be carried live at noon Wednesday on AM 580 and WILL-TV.