Human-service provider and social service groups urge budget approval
The head of Illinois' largest provider of human-services programs is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers to pass a budget to help organizations that provide care for seniors, the homeless and people with mental health issues.
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 long-term budget stalemate is negatively impacting social service groups as well. A group of Chicago agencies detailed problems from laying off staff to cutting afterschool programs.
Emily Miller is a director at Voices for Illinois Children. She says Illinois is weak and "getting weaker." 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 also cut back on technology and afterschool programs affecting at least 250 people.