* Imagine, if you will, the horrific anguish that the parents of this 14 year-old boy (named “N.B.” in this story) are going through…
N.B. has been placed in a psychiatric hospital 14 times, where he stays an average of three weeks. N.B. is extremely aggressive, doesn’t talk and has been diagnosed with moderate to severe mental retardation, autism spectrum disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, mood disorder, disruptive behavior disorder and more, the lawsuit states. He also has “a history of maladaptive and self-injurious behaviors, including hitting himself in the head, scratching himself and biting his hand.”
The parents have filed a lawsuit against the state to force it to provide better home-care treatment programs. According to their lawyer, the system is downright unfair…
“Some parents are told they can’t get funding for their child’s treatment and they reach a point where they don’t pick the child up from the psychiatric hospital because they’re a danger to their other siblings,” Farley said. “Then DCFS gets called and they take custody. The parents get residential treatment (for the child), but they’ve given up custody, and that shouldn’t have to be.”
The class action lawsuit could affect more than 18,000 kids with severe problems in Illinois alone. So, as the talk turns to cutting Medicaid, keep this heartbreaking story in mind. As the headline says, the budget is about people.
* And then there’s this…
An attorney for Gov. Pat Quinn faced blistering questioning by legislators Friday on why the governor didn’t quickly fire the head of the state’s child-welfare agency last year after a report of fraudulent billing under his watch.
At a hearing in Chicago, Rep. Jack Franks called it “cowardice” on the part of Quinn’s office to ask for Erwin McEwen’s resignation from his post as chief of the Department of Children and Family Services rather than fire him. State inspectors had found that a friend of the former director collected millions of dollars for shoddy or non-existent work.
“I can’t believe the cowardice,” Franks exclaimed in reaction to Quinn’s general counsel, John Schomberg, who had said that accepting a resignation instead of firing an employee can avoid a lawsuit.
“Let him sue,” Franks said, his voice rising. “Who cares? Do what’s right.”
State ethics investigators say they may never know the full extent of an alleged contracting scheme that they say cost taxpayers at least $18 million and led to last year’s resignation of the head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
The comments came during a legislative hearing Friday examining a probe that found numerous violations by George E. Smith, who held various state contracts across a number of agencies, including DCFS.
The state executive inspector general’s office accused Smith of forging documents, presentingfalse information about grant funds for after-school services, submitting budgets that allowed him to conceal funds, and accepting payments he was not entitled to receive.
But Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza said the wrongdoing may go further, as the state only investigated contracts Smith held dating back to 2008. Smith has been doing businesses with the state since 1986.
Sometimes, as in this case, the budget can be about the wrong people.
* And sometimes, a governor wants to do things that the state cannot afford…
Watch for Quinn propose a tax cut targeting families with children Wednesday at his State of the State address. “This tax cut will benefit almost 1.5 million families in Illinois, by putting more money in their pockets,” a top source said.
“We need to understand that by targeting tax relief for the people who need it the most, that’s a very important mission for us this year in Illinois. We have to help our veterans too. We have a veterans hiring tax credit that I’ll be speaking about Wednesday. We want to make sure our employers are hiring veterans because they have the discipline, the teamwork, the leadership and the skill to get a job done, “said Quinn.
* Related and a roundup…
* ‘Jobs, jobs, jobs’ to be focus of State of State
* Illinois’ Quinn Pressured To Roll Back Tax Increase
* Krohe: The state makes a bad bet on Sears
* Editorial: Cut costs, state prison population
* Hearing examines charges of misconduct at DCFS
* Lawmaker: Quinn A ‘Coward’ For His Handling Of DCFS Investigation
* Editorial: Aon’s London move a head-scratcher
* Governor Quinn’s Office Seeing Strong Opposition To Chicago Speed Camera Bill - Public Response To SB965 Oppose Bill By 9-1 Margin
* Erickson: Illinois courts finally join 21st century
* Chicago area prolifers honor Cardinal George
* What’s next for Belvidere Chrysler plant after start of Dodge Dart?