* Doug Finke has a very good article today about the upcoming budget announcement…
From the disabled who need help to stay in their homes to school districts trying to balance their own budgets, people who rely on state spending are bracing for Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget scalpel.
Quinn said Monday he’s preparing to deal with the proposed spending plan approved by lawmakers last month and that cuts are coming, although he did not specify where they will land.
“What we’re hearing is the administration is seriously considering cutting the home care program, cutting hours and cutting people off the program,” said SEIU communications director Brynn Siebert. “It costs three times as much to keep a person in an institution as at home.” […]
Don Moss, a lobbyist who works on behalf of mental health and developmental disabilities organizations, said he’s hearing from providers that their contracts with the state to provide services are being cut.
And the teachers’ union isn’t thrilled, either…
“We think this is a budget built on quicksand. Regardless of what numbers they put in the budget book, the funding doesn’t exist to fund education at that level,” Comerford said.
Go read the whole thing. Here’s more from Don Moss…
Hints of what Gov. Pat Quinn has in store for budget cuts are coming in paper work for local human services. Don Moss, executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois, says providers are returning grant and fee-for-service contract papers for Wednesday’s midnight deadline, and they’re finding that some grants have been wiped out.
Moss says services for the people with developmental disabilities, mental illness and addictions will all be affected, although he says services that are Medicaid-eligible will be in the best shape. He says for grant programs, some services will see a three-to-six month reprieve, while others will receive nothing.
Republican lawmakers in Springfield are getting in their “I told you so’s” now that Congress has balked at extending federal stimulus funding.
Including in the sweeping plans in Washington, D.C., was about $700 million which was earmarked in the new state budget for a continuing enhanced Medicaid match. But the so-called FMAP money — Federal Medical Assistance Percentage – is not coming in time for the start of Illinois’ new fiscal year on Thursday. […]
GOP lawmakers say the extra Medicaid money should never have been included in the Democratic written budget.
State Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, said Quinn wanted the most optimistic numbers he could find, and now the state is going to have to pay the price.
Keep in mind, however, that the House Republicans did not propose a single appropriations bill or amendment to address this problem.
* And be mindful while reading the following story that the governor and AFSCME negotiated a deferral of half its 2 percent pay hike until July of 2011. They’re getting a one-point bump now…
Despite a state budget that is billions of dollars out of whack, more than 46,000 state workers will see bigger paychecks on Thursday.
Judges, prison guards, welfare office workers and mental health specialists will see raises and cost-of-living adjustments worth an estimated $105.6 million.
For some lawmakers, the raises are an example of why the state is in such dire financial straits.
“I just think it shows how Gov. Quinn isn’t serious about getting a handle on this problem,” said state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth.
* Speaking of the Republicans, House GOP Leader Tom Cross has penned a response to Speaker Madigan’s Daily Southtown op-ed…
Since Democrats took total control of Illinois government in 2003, our credit ratings have been downgraded 11 times, the most in Illinois history. A report released recently by CMA Datavision identified Illinois as one of 10 sovereign governments most at risk of default. We are ahead of California and the nation of Portugal. Our financial woes extend beyond the borders of the U.S.A.
Eleven times? Yikes.
* Related and a roundup…
* ADDED: Senator Dave Syverson Makes Outrageous Budget Blooper
* Ill. to begin new fiscal year with deficit, debt
* A disappointing look behind the curtain
* Advocates push to spare services for disabled from budget ax
* New laws kick in Thursday : Almost 50 new laws will hit the books July 1, and they range from high-profile issues state lawmakers fought over to small changes that you may never notice.