* In my opinion, Gov. Quinn has crossed the line…
Caught in the crossfire are social-service providers who were previously warned by Quinn that dramatic cuts of 50 percent or more would result if lawmakers didn’t come up with more money. In a statement, Quinn warned that organizations providing services not backed by a court order did so “at the risk of not being paid.” He said nine organizations have sued stemming from the impasse.
Frank Anselmo, chief executive officer of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, said providers of services to the mentally ill already have laid off staff and stopped taking patients. He said Quinn has not put in place contingency contracts that guarantee eventual payment, something prior administrations have done.
Instead of contingency contracts, Quinn told vendors and providers that they were outta luck…
[Quinn’s] office then released a statement that Illinois “has very limited authority to pay its vendors and grantees.” The state, however, “will continue to operate and provide essential services to protect the health, safety and welfare of Illinois citizens, such as maintaining prisons and providing emergency services and legally-required social services. Other vendors and grantees who currently perform state services do so at the risk of not being paid,” the statement concluded.
And these statements by Comptroller Hynes show a lack of understanding about how providers and state vendors operate…
Hynes says social service agencies wouldn’t miss any payments from the state until later in the summer, because - even when there is a budget - they aren’t paid immediately.
HYNES: If they provided services today, by the time they got their paperwork into the agency and it’s submitted to our office, and with the cashflow delays we’re having, we’re talking several months. So that’s why the day-to-day social services don’t have a real, hard-and-fast deadline like a payroll does.
Hynes does acknowledge that the governor’s letter is going to create some hardships. The reason is that these social service agencies are basically just small to mid-sized businesses. For-profit vendors are almost all traditional businesses. Like all businesses, they occasionally have to borrow money to level out their revenues. Quinn’s letter, however, will scare the devil out of bankers.
Quinn suggested lawmakers shouldn’t dillydally, but they aren’t scheduled to return to the Capitol to deal with the budget situation for two weeks.
And Quinn indicated that he wouldn’t bring them back before then. Another blow to those social service groups and vendors.
* Everybody else, including state workers and Public Aid recipients, are pretty safe…
…the lack of a budget for now may mean very little for most state agencies. Court orders require the state to make public aid payments regardless of the budget status. And the last time the state found itself in a similar position, a court told the state to continue sending out paychecks while the budget remained up in the air.
So you can most likely ignore most of the huffing and puffing about that issue. It’s the vendors and the providers who are in most danger now…
Twelve of the 33 employees at A Woman’s Fund in Urbana already have lost their jobs, said the agency’s executive director, Tami Tunnell.
And 31 of the 210 staffers at the Mental Health Center of Champaign County were told Wednesday that they are being laid off, said Chief Executive Officer Sheila Ferguson.
Blood on the sidewalk…
At the H Group in West Frankfort, administrators cut 33 jobs and 12 employees took pay cuts and demotions, said John Markley, executive director.
“If any legislator was looking for the blood on the sidewalk so to speak, it’s today (Wednesday),” Markley said. “If legislators are wondering if it’s really a crisis or not they can come and sit in our office and watch us tell our clients we can’t serve them; watch us have to tell our staff there is no need for their service because they aren’t funded by the sate anymore.”
Markley estimated the H Group, which provides mental health and addiction services in Williamson and Franklin Counties, will serve 1,000 fewer people this year than the 7,000 served last year. […]
[Fellowship House in Anna’s CEO Mickey Finch] said she has already cut seven jobs at Fellowship House and cut the number of patient beds from 40 to 20. She said the agency can make it until the end of the calendar year before shutting down.
Sabrina’s been laid off. And Keith is on a 14-day unpaid furlough, his job future uncertain. It’s a devastating one-two punch for the couple.
The Georges both work for Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC), an agency that was used by the courts to divert non-violent convicts with addiction problems away from prison, to probation and treatment. But Tuesday, after Illinois failed to pass a budget, the agency laid off 50 workers and furloughed 150 more for two weeks.
Asked the status of those 150 furloughed employees, TASC Executive VP Peter Palanca said, “We don’t know, given the uncertainty of the budget, given what’s going on. It’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen.”
As a result, the office is deserted. Rows and rows of empty desks, and boxes piled high with files of clients who aren’t being helped.
* Mutual Ground’s domestic violence shelter closes amid budget fight
* Mattoon adult education center forced to shut doors; Lake Land College still owed $5.3 million by state
* People with kids, disabilities to feel the pinch without a state budget
* Adams: Obligation to state’s kids a matter of law
* Groups sue Ill. over budget impasse: Quinn said Wednesday afternoon that nine lawsuits had been filed in the past 24 hours.
* Overtime issue raised by prison union chief
* Quinn to talk budget with women lawmakers
* Lawmakers field calls, speak minds on budget impasse
* Profiles in failure
* New fiscal year, same stalemate
* Quinn vetoes budget; workers will be paid