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Illinois “getting to a point where there’s a tangible body count. Of children”

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017

* A friend of mine read the post yesterday about Family Focus laying off 100 employees and slashing its services. The group provides parenting classes for DCFS families, “drastically reducing the percentage of parents that reengage with the system.”

My friend said she couldn’t sleep last night and explained why via text message this morning…

I was playing out all the awful scenarios. DCFS is already WAY over capacity in terms of caseloads. Without Family Focus and other similar organizations, those numbers go up. That means more and more children who are being neglected and abused who are just waiting for a grown up to step in and save them will die. That’s not hyperbolic. That’s what actually happens.

Remember when Rauner said Quinn owned the consequences of his dysfunctional DCFS?

We’re talking about getting to a point where there’s a tangible body count. Of children.

* And it’s not just DCFS children. Here’s Mark Brown

Operators of group homes across Illinois say they are facing a staffing crisis because they can’t pay high enough wages to attract workers.

And they say they can’t pay workers more because for nearly 10 years the state has not increased the reimbursement rates it provides for the care of individuals residing in their homes.

As a result, 13 group homes across Illinois have closed in the past year while another 22 have consolidated, according to the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

That translate into fewer group home openings for the Lenza twins and thousands of other families in a state that was already regarded as woefully short of housing opportunities for disabled adults.

Illinois has more than 8,500 individuals with developmental disabilities on a waiting list for residential services. Even when approved for funding, they often have trouble finding a group home in their area that will accept them.

Go read the whole thing.

…Adding… Pritzker campaign…

Family Focus, an early childhood development center with seven locations across the Greater Chicagoland area, has announced a “mass layoff” amid the historically-long budget crisis manufactured by Bruce Rauner. A stunning 71% of their staff is being let go to end a “severe cash flow crisis” as they wait for $2.7 million in state payments. That amounts to another 100 jobs lost under Rauner’s failed leadership.

Meanwhile, Bruce Rauner spent his day yesterday visiting Iowa to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony and is the happiest he’s been in 20 years.

“For two and a half years, Bruce Rauner has been utterly tone deaf, saying that ‘we’ll take short-term pain for big long-term gain.’ But these are people we’re talking about, not line items on a budget,” said JB Pritzker. “This is not short term. These are children. You can’t unhurt a child. You can’t redo childhood. The children and families who lose access to these services will be permanently affected. Is Rauner’s special interest agenda worth endangering the lives and well-being of the 17,000 families Family Focus serves?”

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Mrs. Rauner won’t talk about her husband’s happiness

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017

* As we briefly discussed yesterday, Diana Rauner spoke to the City Club. She didn’t say much that seemed particularly newsworthy…


* Tribune..

“Oh no, we’re going to be there until next summer,” Diana Rauner told Chicago Inc. on Monday, after giving a speech on early childhood development at the City Club of Chicago.

Long-overdue renovations to the 162-year-old governor’s mansion forced the couple to move this spring into the bungalow on the fairgrounds, where they have encountered a family of foxes, and now, Diana Rauner said Monday, a family of hedgehogs. […]

More serious topics of conversation, alas, were deemed out of bounds. The first lady declined to discuss her husband’s oft-repeated story, in which she informs the governor that she has not seen him happier in 20 years. Democrats this weekend seized on the governor’s latest recitation of the tale as evidence he was “out of touch” with ordinary people during the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

Diana Rauner told Inc. that “I’m not going to discuss that today.” She was whisked out of the building before she could be cornered by a gaggle of TV camera crews.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


Talks break down, Medicaid providers want half a billion more a month

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017

* Reuters

A U.S. judge should order Illinois to pay Medicaid providers about $1 billion a month to ensure medical care continues for the three million recipients of the health program after talks with the state reached an impasse, according to a court filing on Monday.

The move would cause a huge problem for the cash-strapped state, which has accumulated a $15 billion bill backlog due to a budget stalemate between its Republican governor and Democrats who control the legislature. It could force Illinois to stop making full payments on other state-mandated or court-ordered spending such as pensions and payroll.

The filing in U.S. District Court by attorneys representing Medicaid recipients asked Judge Joan Lefkow to order the state to pay $500 million a month for four months to start reducing a $3.1 billion pile of unpaid bills owed to managed care organizations that turn pay doctors and others.

As long as Illinois remains without an enacted budget, the proposed order calls for the state to spend an additional $586 million a month to cover Medicaid-related bills incurred after June 30, 2017.

The proposed order noted that federal reimbursements for Medicaid would reduce Illinois’ outlay to $543 million a month.

Oh, this is so not good. As we’ve already discussed, Illinois will barely have enough cash to make its “core” payments in July and will fall $185 million short of having enough money in August for those payments.

A court hearing is scheduled for later today tomorrow at 9:45. (For some reason, I keep thinking today is Wednesday. Maybe it’s because we worked over the weekend.) Stay tuned.

The legal motion is here.

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*** LIVE *** Special session coverage

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2017

* Watch June clock click down in real time with ScribbleLive


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* Illinois "getting to a point where there's a tangible body count. Of children"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* Mrs. Rauner won't talk about her husband's happiness
* Talks break down, Medicaid providers want half a billion more a month
* *** LIVE *** Special session coverage
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