News Local/State

Service Provider Cutting 30 Programs Because of Budget Impasse


Lutheran Social Services, Illinois' largest private provider of social services, is closing 30 programs serving nearly 5,000 people.  It's laying off 750 employees -- more than 40 percent of its staff -- because of the budget impasse.  The nonprofit's CEO says the state owes it $6 million and it can no longer rely on bank credit or fundraising.

"The state’s budget deadlock has severely challenged LSSI’s ability to provide services to those in need,” said Mark A. Stutrud, LSSI President and CEO, in a press release. “Over the past months, LSSI has relied on a bank line of credit and available resources from our foundation to compensate for the state’s inability to pay its bills. Currently, we are owed more than $6 million by the state for services delivered. After seven months, we can no longer provide services for which we aren’t being paid.”

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic lawmakers have been unable to agree on a budget for the year beginning July 1. Many private service providers have been fronting the money for months to continue helping clients.
Affected programs include substance abuse help, mental health counseling and homeless shelters.
A Rauner spokeswoman did not have an immediate comment.