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New report details the human carnage of the impasse

Wednesday, Mar 2, 2016

* From Emily Miller at Voices for Illinois Children…

Hi Rich-

With Illinois’ higher ed system on the brink of collapse due to the lack of a budget, it’s natural that a higher ed fix is at top of mind for the governor, lawmakers and the media. But it’s worth remembering that for every high profile budget hostage (like MAP grant recipients and higher ed institutions) there are thousands of individual untold stories of lives impacted, and in some cases ruined, by the lack of a fully funded state budget.

Today, Voices for Illinois Children released an update to our September report outlining the devastating human impact the budget impasse continues to have on children, families and communities. It provides a useful closer look at some of the pain the ongoing budget stand-off is causing in relation to 60 line items across the state, particularly for seniors, children and underserved families.

By all accounts (that I’ve heard, anyway) it seems likely that this year’s budget stand-off will creep well in to the next fiscal year, leaving these programs, and the families they serve, unfunded for an indefinite amount of time. That’s unconscionable.

The crisis of the day is the destruction of our higher education system, but we shouldn’t forget the other foreseeable and preventable results of not having a fully-funded budget, including:

    HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Services: The Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative, a program that works with medical providers statewide to ensure that pregnant women who are HIV-positive deliver HIV-negative babies, will close its doors in October of 2016 unless funding is restored. The program saves the state about $35 million each year, and without it, there will be babies who could have been born HIV-negative that will be born HIV-positive.

    The Autism Project of Illinois: Nearly 1,800 families across the state have either lost services or are at risk of losing critical autism services after TAP closed its doors on September 30, 2015. Previously, TAP was a national leader in providing services and supports to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One in 68 children has been identified as having ASD by the Centers for Disease Control.

    Home-delivered Meals for Seniors: Roughly 3,200 seniors have lost home-delivered meal services statewide. In DuPage County, the DuPage Senior Citizens Council has cut program staff by 55% and has closed its community dining program. In Rockford, 250 meal slots have been eliminated, bringing the number of seniors on the wait list for meals to 400. A Rockford provider, Lifescape Community Services, reports serving 17,000 fewer meals in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015.

    Sexual Assault Services and Prevention: All 29 agencies serving survivors of sexual assault have instituted furloughs and left staff vacancies unfilled. Agencies across the state have instituted waitlists for counseling services. One center reports 65 survivors are on a waiting list for critical trauma-centered sexual assault counseling services in Chicago alone.

    Substance Abuse and Prevention Programs: Approximately 47,000 individuals across the state have been denied services or have had reduced service delivery, and most providers have a waiting list of 3 months or longer. That leaves many adults with substance abuse disorders at risk of entering the criminal justice system—a much more costly outcome for the state.

    Centers for Independent Living: In FY14, Centers for Independent Living (CIL) served 95 of Illinois’ 102 counties, equipping people with disabilities with resources, supports, and skills to live independently. CILs across the state, including Chicago, Swansea, Joliet, and Alton, have instituted furloughs and layoffs, jeopardizing the roughly 63,430 direct services and information and referrals that were provided in FY14.

    Support Services for Seniors: Home Care and Adult Day Care have been especially hard hit. Lutheran Social Services of Illinois closed 7 home care and adult day care centers, eliminating services for 2,355 seniors in Canton, Chicago, DeKalb, Freeport, Moline, Peoria and Rockford. LSSI also cut case management and adult protective services programs for 2,713 seniors in Sterling, IL. The lack of state investment in home care services leaves more than 25,000 seniors at risk of losing services across Cook and Lake Counties.

The full report is here. Gruesome.

* Related…

* I’m young and homeless. What Governor Rauner said when I asked for help.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:23 am:

    Thank you, both parties, for nothing.

  2. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:26 am:

    What did Rauner say? Can’t read the Crain’s article.

    Behind paywall.

  3. - Norseman - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    === I’m young and homeless. What Governor Rauner said when I asked for help. ===

    The young lady was given the impression that Rauner cared. Unfortunately, it was false humanity (see other post on humanity - which Rauner doesn’t have). She found out that it was an act and felt betrayed.

    That what this guy is and how he acts. He’ll pal around with you at the game or drink with you at the bar, but when it comes to your needs you get pablum.

  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    Nevermind. Googled it — and it worked.

    Wow — what a devastating letter about what Rauner said.

    (And a devastating report from Emily Miller.)

  5. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    I am literally ill after reading this.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    @RonSandack: I’m frustrated 2, but taking steps towards reforming IL more important than short term budget stalemate.

    Until Rauner and the GOP GA refute this tweet and stop the premise that things are “worth” value over people…

    Until then, the silence is deafening GOP GA.

    Show me something. Please.

  7. - Norseman - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:34 am:

    Mark Brown said it best a few weeks ago in a column entitled “It’s time to take sides in state budget mess.”

    Governor’s own and this governor owns this impasse big time.

  8. - Siriusly - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:35 am:

    Bruce has a social agenda.

  9. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    I have supported raising the state income tax to a rate ballpark with other states for a long time, without all of the preconditions and hostages, for fear of what’s actually happening now.

    The Democrats were wrong to not permanently raise the income tax in 2011, and I was wrong to assume that it was okay to pass a temporary income tax increase and debate this all over again.

  10. - cdog - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    I truly think we are witnessing the front end of the Rauner Recession.

    And, as with all extremist-style induced recessions, there is a huge human toll on the most vulnerable.

    (If I had more time today and a degree, or two, in Economics, it would be interesting to calculate the economic impact of all these numbers on Illinois GDP, etc.)

    Teach your kids (and any youth to whom you have influence) to understand extremes, and how to navigate wisely through them. There is nothing wise about this mess.

  11. - Union Man - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    If Bruce is shutting things down to get the “weak, lame and lazy” out of Illinois because we offer few services, then Jackson’s comparison of Rauner to Wallace has merit.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    Thank you, Emily, for documenting the results of the “necessary shakeout” of the “squeeze the beast” plan that the Freewheelin’ Christine Radogno revealed to us a few weeks ago in the SJR.

    Must be good for the “economy,” am I right, people? “Structural reform.” “Short-term pain, long-term gain.” “Status quo.” “More distracting catch-phrases.”

    Also, here’s to the Bolsheviks over at “Crains” for keeping the heat turned up on Rauner. They spotted the snake-oil salesman from the get-go. They are not among the some who can be fooled all of the time.

    And here’s to Caprice, who speaks truth to power.

    Question: why are homeless shelters for children — repeat that, homeless shelters for children! — being closed when dedicated, non-GRF money for them are sitting gathering dust with the Treasurer?

    Answer: Because Gov. Darwin wants to sweep the money for the enormous GRF deficit he has produced in just one year with his reckless misanthropy.

    That’s the status quo, the existing state of affairs, among Illinois Republicans on March 2, 2016.

  13. - Aldyth - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    The killing of hostages continues.

  14. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    So, when DCFS was under fire, Rauner said that Quinn was personally to blame for child deaths.

    At what point is he going to accept personal responsibility for infants being born HIV positive?

  15. - illinoised - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    Caprice Williams pointed out what Rauner’s supporters are ignoring; his actions do not support his rhetoric.

  16. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    Recently, Peggy Noonan wrote a column describing the growing divide between the “protected” and the “unprotected”:

    It seems to me that we’re seeing a similar phenomenon in IL that cuts across both parties. Rauner, Emanuel, Madigan, and others are quintessential examples of the protected class — people who have enough money, connections (clout), and other resources to protect themselves from the worst effects of their own policy decisions. The unprotected classes, meanwhile, live with the consequences, and their concerns go unheeded.

    While Noonan mainly addresses national and international issues like immigration and the rise of Trump, I suspect many of you could find what she says applicable to the IL political situation as well.

  17. - Omega Man - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Superstars: “Locked on target, Sir!”

    Governor Rauner: “Fire for effect!”

  18. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    Go after the GOP, not Rauner. He is hopeless.

  19. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    “The governor is not afraid to take the arrows.”


    “The governor made me feel like he cared about homeless youth. He even gave me a hug and said he would look into it, not seeing why he ‘couldn’t get creative like they have in the past.’ But the next Tuesday, his staff called to say there was nothing they could do. We asked why not, and his staff just said no.”

    Despite holding him in lowest esteem, it still seems I overestimated his character.

    – MrJM

  20. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    I will say what I need to say to be positive while I am in the room with the little people. I am fighting for the people of this great state. I, personally, did not say ‘No’. Someone else said that after the event.

  21. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    This morning on NPR, they were discussing the case going before the US Supreme Court concerning abortion clinics in Texas. This quote was telling of those who wish government support and access to programs, of any kind, how they truly feel-

    Isaac, the co-author of HB 2, says that women who live hundreds of miles from the nearest clinic should acknowledge that reality and act accordingly.

    “Hopefully,” Isaac said, “they’ll be more preventative and not get pregnant.” Women who live far from a clinic should realize, he said, that “Hey, that might still be an option legally — but now I live 300 miles away from the nearest place, I should probably be more careful.”

    Rauner seems to have the same regard for any and all social services.

  22. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    And if you are in the middle class and you believe you are also in the protected class, think again. Especially in Illinois.

    Yesterday i heard Hillary Clinton say that the middle class “needs a raise.” Apparently, that is not the thinking among Illinois Democrats, who want the middle class to bear the weight of the tax increase that many believe is coming. Bad governance-let’s say terrible governance–for many decades has its price. And both parties in Illinois want the middle class to pay as much of it as they can get away with it. The protected class will remain protected in Illinois.

  23. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    Let me add that the media have done a fairly good job of covering the ravages of the budget impasse on the unprotected classes, to use Ms. Noonan’s term.

    Rarely do we read what fixing these problems is going to cost–and who pays.

  24. - Say It Aint So!!! - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:05 am:


    Did you forget that there was a vote in Illinois on the “Millionaires tax” which would have taken some of the tax burden, but 100% of the Republicans voted against it. The Illinois Democrats were not the problem, as most of them voted for it, as did an overwhelming majority of voters in the 2014 advisory referendum.

  25. - illini97 - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    Remind me again what we, as a state, get for the carnage inflicted on those least able to recover from it?

  26. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:20 am:

    I’d want to hear the Republicans’ side of this issue.

    So it’s all the Republicans’ fault, eh? Were they not in the way, the billions, trillions even, would flow from the one per cent and all would be well.

  27. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    == I wish the governor would tell us why he really doesn’t care what happens to us==

    That, IMHO, says it all.

  28. - My New Handle - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    My reality set is this:
    There are no Republicans now serving in the state legislature or in the executive office. In the general assembly there are non-Democrats who would rather live on their knees for the money than put their political careers on the line for principle.

    Further, using the term “GOP” is now meaningless and archaic. That is the reality in Illinois.

    I don’t believe maps are the problem either, since Dems in the House were a minority for only two years under a Republican map.

    We are again faced, in some districts, with voting against rather than enthusiastically for a candidate.

  29. - Former Hoosier - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    We can always count on Emily Miller to keep us focused on the carnage that the budget impasse has created. Thank you Emily.

    Regarding the issue of when Gov. Rauner is going to take personal responsibility for this devastation. I believe the answer is NEVER. He will continue to blame Madigan, Cullerton and any other dem. he can think of (except Dunkin of course). The Gov. will continue to behave like he is an observer, an innocent bystander in this hideous fiasco. If you listen to his empty rhetoric- “I’m frustrated too…”, without knowing his position, you would never guess that he is the Gov.- the elected executive head of this state.

  30. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    Former Hoosier- You’re right, Rauner will never take any responsibility for this. But, he IS leaving a legacy behind. I doubt the analysis will be kind. And that’s something he WON’T be able to buy his way out of.

  31. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    == I wish the governor would tell us why he really doesn’t care what happens to us==

    To which Gov. Rauner would reply, “the pain will be worth it, Caprice. The pain will be so worth it.”

  32. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    Way too much focus on Rauner as the cause of all evil. Everything was wonderful in Illinois until he got here? If it was so wonderful, why didn’t the Democrats put through a permanent income tax increase when they could. Why did they put up a candidate (Quinn) they had to know was weak. Why did they pursue an obviously flawed solution to the pension “crisis” for years.

    But the focus on Rauner as the incarnation of evil does take the pressure off the legislative branch in this election year. Well, we can’t do anything because…..(insert various synonyms of evil) Rauner.

  33. - Hope Dies Last - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    Kudos to Emily Miller for continuing to raise these issues, but know that those of us in higher ed certainly don’t forget for one second the human tolls these Sophie’s Choices exact. It is beyond appalling that we’re being pitted against one another, when in reality we’re all in this together. Without an educated workforce, who will serve those most in need?

    Bruce Rauner doesn’t care. Michael Madigan doesn’t care. When are the senators and reps under these guys going to band together and mutiny?

  34. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    And, Hope, what would the “senators and reps under these guys” propose, exactly. Have they shown any signs of collective revolt?

  35. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    “Way too much focus on Rauner as the cause of all evil. Everything was wonderful in Illinois until he got here?”

    A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent.

    The typical “attacking a straw man” argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition (i.e. “stand up a straw man”) and then to refute or defeat that false argument (”knock down a straw man”) instead of the original proposition.

    – MrJM

  36. - JLR - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    I predict no budget until after November election. Then Illinois will be in recession. The House and Senate GOP Leaders own this outcome along with Raunner. Only they can reverse this outcome and since they won’t resign the members should take matters in hand after primary election. GOP members should stand against Raunner and compromise on a reasonable budget for the sake of Illinois and do what they were elected to do, GOVERN.

  37. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 4:23 pm:

    Q: What’s the position of Rep. Patti Bellock, Republican spokesperson for Human Services and Human Services Approps?

    Has she only avoided going Full Radogno because nobody has bothered to put her on the record?

  38. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 6:23 pm:

    The sad thing is that the above report was only the measurable stuff. I was in Nashville, IL today. I stopped into the McDonalds for coffee. All the workers were obviously retirement age. Service was wonderful but it dawned on me that jobs must be very scarce and the need for a little extra income to get by must be great. That kind of stuff can’t be measured easily. But you know it when you see it.

  39. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 8:13 pm:

    I used to be somewhat proud that Illinois had a batch of Republicans that were largely moderate on social services (with notable exceptions, of course). The string of Republican governors (Thompson, Edgar, Ryan) presided over an era of growth for human services in the state.

    So what’s gotten into people these days? How does Rauner winning 50.3% of the vote turn them into the likes of Radogno?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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