News Local/State

Human Services Advocates Address Rauner Spending Freeze

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner after swearing in ceremonies in the Senate chambers Wednesday.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner heads back to his office after swearing in ceremonies in the Senate chambers at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Springfield Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Advocates for those that serve the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled say they’re still getting a handle on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s freeze of ‘non-essential spending’.

But a group that represents about 100 such agencies around the state believes Rauner’s promise will apply more to areas like consulting contracts.

Josh Evans is with the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Services. 

He said it’s hard to imagine the governor would cut human services.

“I think the thrust of the executive order was an internal one, and if you think back to what the governor mentioned in his inaugural speech, something to the effect of every dollar we spend inefficiently within state government is a dollar that we can’t spend on social services and other things," he said.  "So my gut tells me this is really focused on the internal operations of state government, and the contracts they have.”

Evans said his group is working to open up lines of communication between the governor and agencies it serves, like the Developmental Services Center, and Community Elements, both in Champaign, and Crosspoint Human Services in Danville.

Evans said he’s heard from a number of these community-based service providers who are unsure if they’re effected by Rauner’s executive order.