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52,000 hurt by impasse in Will County

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016

* This is crazy

More than 52,000 clients are estimated to be affected by the Will County Health Department’s decision to suspend a handful of programs, according to a department news release.

The department — faced with a $2.1 million shortfall caused by the state’s budget impasse — announced last week it was laying off 53 employees. The agency is also suspending nine programs, including its adult psychiatric services.

Those affected include 39,000 served by a school vision and hearing program, 1,800 behavioral health clients and 4,000 clients who use HIV prevention and education services, according to the news release.

A union representative for Will County Health Department employees slated for layoffs later this month said the loss of programming will have a ripple effect on the community’s “most vulnerable citizens.”

David Delrose, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1028, said while employees are aware of the Illinois budget crisis, the scope and immediacy of the layoffs were unexpected.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Huh? - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Hang in there.

    Short term pain for long term benefits.


  2. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    Will Governor Rauner and his Superstars be serving the in-school suspensions of any of the 39,000 kids who may be unable to see the board or hear the teacher?

  3. - Markus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    What Say Ye Will County Reps?

    Thaddeus Jones, 29
    Elgie R. Sims, Jr. 34
    Margo McDermed, 37
    Al Rilley, 38
    Grant Wehrli, 41
    John D. Anthony, 75
    Katherine Cloonen, 79
    Anthony DeLuca, 80
    Ron Sandack, 81
    Jim Durkin, 82
    Stephanie A. Kifowit, 84
    Emily McAsey, 85
    Lawrence M. Walsh, Jr, 86
    Mark Batinick, 97
    Natalie A Manley, 98

  4. - Ghost - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    sadly a number of those mental health patients will fall into the criminal system when the decompensate for lack of care. we will then pay police, the states attorneys, the courts and DOC to house them. the costs will far exceed the cost of treating them. But it fulll fills rauners goal of hurting people to get what he wants.

  5. - Markus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    It struck me after reviewing the Will County map and posting my comment that maybe we should be keeping the Township officials and getting rid of “Do Nothing” State Reps.

  6. - Anon Downstate - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:31 pm:

    There’s more to it than just the missing state funding….

    In Will County’s case, the 2.1 mil from the state by itself won’t cover all those program and employee costs. Just from the article, do the math.

    $2.1 mil / 53 employees = $39622 for each person. That’s not even enough to pay for staff, much less the entire programs. A number of those programs have never supported themselves.

    They have had the past funding shortfalls made up by either fund transfers from the County General Fund (Corporate; Fund 001), or internal fund transfers from the ‘cash cow’ programs within the Health Department (Environmental Health; Food Safety Inspection programs) that are fee based.

    It’s an easy explanation to place the bulk of the blame on the State and their lack of payments, but when you really dig in, you will find out there’s also another story behind the story. It’s not just the State of Illinois being late on payments.

    Will County just appeared to do what neighboring Kane County did 4-5 years ago.

    These Health Departments around the state are having to make hard decisions. IF different programs can’t support themselves, they are going to get cut.

  7. - Not Surprised - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    When you eliminate mental health grant funding AND not even issue contracts for psychiatry, you lose access to services. This inevitable outcome was laid out back last summer.

  8. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    All to destroy Labor, all to destroy Labor.

    It’s so much suffering being caused to destroy labor.

    Hey trolls….is it worth it? Go ahead

  9. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:49 pm:

    One major roadblock to a budget and adequately funding state services is people who would rather that people undergo these cuts than paying a little higher state income tax. This is very clear, in the difficulty we’re having in raising the state income tax to a rate that is comparable to many other states

  10. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    Rauner doesn’t care.

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    Why aren’t the House and Senate Dems documenting all this destruction in the aggregate and screaming it from the rooftops?

    People losing their jobs, programs being shut down, citizens getting tuned up, on a statewide basis…

    For crying out loud, you must have the information and the resources to do so. You have an unprecedented story to tell of the historic and willful sabotage of core state responsibilities.

    Get on with it, already!

    Sell it!

  12. - Jocko - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    As others have said, pay now or pay (much more) later…in terms of financial & societal cost.

    Wishing hearing & vision problems, HIV, and mental health issues away don’t make it so.

  13. - Anon Downstate - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    There’s another aspect to all of this happening at the local level (Except for City of Chicago and Cook County):

    The units of local government are covered under IMRF (IL Municipal Retirement Fund) for retirement/pension benefits. IMRF is actively meeting the funding retirement benefits promised to their membership (one of just a few plans in the entire country accomplishing that goal).

    But there’s a nasty side effect that is becoming more and more apparent. You are starting to see units of local government ‘hollowing out’ their operations down to just core programs, including using more and more outsourcing of services.

    Why? Because IMRF employer contributions keep increasing - substantially. And even more next year. The money going to IMRF (and they are doing a great job!) has mostly been coming out of operations and contingency, but there’s only so much there. Staff/employees are the big cost.

    What it comes down to is a very simple measurement - IF a program is not fiscally self sustaining, the program is subject to being viewed as a ‘frill’ and is subject to resource reduction, or even being phased out.

    You may see the program as more of a necessity than a frill, but if the numbers aren’t working in terms of HARD CASH, then the program in question is going to be increasingly at risk.

    Everybody is having to or is going to have to adjust to increasingly constrained budgets.

  14. - mokenavince - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 1:46 pm:

    I wish this stomping on the halt and the lame stop.The foolish in Springfield must end.

  15. - Union Man - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    What else could we expect from a $1 a year Guvnah?

  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 3:37 pm:

    @RonSandack: I’m frustrated 2, but taking steps towards reforming IL more important than short term budget stalemate. - Ron Sandack, 9/28/15

    I wish the best for those AFSCME workers being laid off.

    I’ll keep my Labor thoughts to myself, they have enough allies I’m told.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===More than 52,000 clients are estimated to be affected…===

    This is a choice by Bruce Rauner as Higher Ed is given priority and cobbled together by the General Assembly and signed by the governor…

    … it was made clear finding pots of money to take money US now a revenue source acceptable but a budget to find social services is needed as Federal Monies are facing the possibility of being lost(?)

    Will social service cuts like these going to be deep enough… permnant enough that the measured people hurt finally hits the “too many” number?

    I can guess we aren’t “there” yet. More hurting must occur?

    Do the doable Illinois General Assembly, get it to 71 and 36 and say “Your move” to the Governor.

    It’s up to the General Assembly to find and do… the doable.

  18. - logic not emotion - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 4:08 pm:

    Unfortunately, our political leaders are more worried about power and ego than leading. These are some of the severe, real life consequences that result.

  19. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    Wait, wait, wait, OW I read very carefully your Labor messages. I hope I didn’t contribute to you withholding your labor message. The other day I thought I detected a change in tone and I wanted to understand it and what it meant. I hope that you will always share your labor thoughts. Dear God it’s been my North star sometimes. I hope you will reconsider.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 4:22 pm:

    - Honeybear -

    No! We’re all good, and I’m not being a petulant child.

    Thank you for your kind words here, and it’s not that I think my thoughts are the only thoughts.

    Sometimes, many times, I get too cute for my own good or in trying to convey. That’s totally on me. I had thought I made clear why I do, what I do. If the message delivery isn’t understood, unlike Kristen McQueary, I know it’s on me, not the reader. I need to be better.

    I’ll figure it out. It’s on me. Maybe I should learn more from Labor’s other allies.

    Don’t worry, self-reflection is good. If it was petulance, I’d worry about me, for me, lol.

    You keep doing what you’re doing. I’m not too far away.


  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 5:09 pm:

    Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 3:53 pm:
    = Do the doable Illinois General Assembly, get it to 71 and 36 and say “Your move” to the Governor. =
    Exactly! But gotta get ALL those GOP to push green light on budget AND tax increases.
    If the Gov decides its too much of a lift, he vetoes and wears the jacket and loses in 2018 (and the GOP green lights probably get whacked too!).
    If he signs, he gets labeled a flipper and untrustworthy by not only Dems, but by the GOP faithful.
    I don’t see any other way to make BVR face an actual choice in governing. Unless forced, he won’t govern. It’s too hard.

  22. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 6:15 pm:

    ===Those affected include 39,000 served by a school vision and hearing program===

    Aren’t vision and hearing services for children required as part of the mandatory minimum health insurance everyone must carry?

  23. - KFC - Thursday, Apr 28, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    “The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
    Hubert H. Humphrey, November 1, 1977

    Never have I experienced a less moral government, governor.

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