Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Some budget hostages finally released
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Some budget hostages finally released

Friday, Oct 28, 2016

* Ed McManus…

The State of Illinois has found a way to make back payments to a Wisconsin agency serving Illinois residents with developmental disabilities.

Chrishaven, a small agency in the La Crosse area, has confirmed that they have now been paid for all 12 months of Fiscal Year 2016 for the five individuals they were serving. The payments add up to approximately $200,000.

Chrishaven took over care of the individuals—four men and a woman—more than two decades ago because no agencies could be identified in Illinois to take them. The Chicago Sun-Times disclosed in February that no payments had been made for their care since Illinois’ budget impasse began in July 2015. Chrishaven had been scraping by, nearly depleting their reserves. Lynn Kay, who runs the agency, said Illinois finally recommended that she notify the individuals and their families that she could no longer serve them. In an interview for a newsletter published by McManus Consulting, a Wilmette-based practice serving disability providers, she said: “That day was one of the worst days of my life. It was horrible that we had to put everyone through such pain.”

The Sun-Times said at the time that there were 44 Illinois residents altogether who fell into this category and had been sent to various agencies in other states; it is not known whether any of those agencies have been paid.

Consultant Ed McManus praised the Rauner administration for coming through with the money. “The governor and the legislature both are responsible for allowing the impasse to drag on for so long,” he said. “But the administration deserves big credit for doing the right thing for the sake of these individuals, and it’s great that Chrishaven is staying afloat. But what a shame that these families had to go through this nightmare. It’s a disgrace that we have no budget, and that our most vulnerable citizens have been treated so shabbily!”

The individuals were given until March 31 to move out, but none of them was ready, and the Department of Human Services persuaded Chrishaven to delay the discharges. The families were offered funding if the individuals returned to Illinois, but that meant identifying Illinois agencies able and willing to serve them, not an easy task—not to mention the issue of uprooting them after all these years.

And then, finally, the funding came through. It is not known where the money is coming from. Comptroller Leslie Munger said previously she could not make the payments without authorization from DHS. DHS cannot issue a voucher unless there is an appropriation passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. In-state developmental disability providers are being paid under a court order, but that doesn’t cover individuals out of state.

Before the funding came through, the parents of one of the individuals, Keith Drazner, 39, of Highland Park, were able to find an Illinois agency to serve him—Clearbrook in Arlington Heights—and he has now moved back, but it has been difficult for him to adjust.

“This whole thing should not have happened,” said his mother, Sharon Drazner. “Keith was happy. The people who took care of him were excellent. The state had no cohesive plan to bring him back. He was like a movable chess piece—‘here’s a spot, let’s put him there.’ No one really cared. What a strange journey this has been. I hope it works out.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    “It is not known where the money is coming from.”

    If Munger paid this, shouldn’t she have some idea??? Otherwise we’d be hearing the chant of, “I can’t unless… There’s no money because… Without a voucher…”.

    I’m glad the organization has been paid in full, but still furious that they and the people they served were leveraged. Who granted them “clemency”???


  2. - Valerie F. Leonard - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    This should never have happened, and the Rauner Administration should not be praised for paying them. It is their job to ensure that the state’s obligations are handled, especially where “the least of these” is concerned. When will he get around to freeing the budget hostages based in Illinois?


  3. - Unsolicited Advice - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    The comptroller (or someone on her staff) has to know where the money is coming from to make a payment. Suggested edit for accuracy: take out “It is not known where the money is coming from.” Replace with: I don’t know where the money is coming from and won’t tell you if I asked.


  4. - G'Kar - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    Would the fact that they are an out-of-state vendor have paid a role in getting them paid? Would the legal situation be different enough that paying them would avoid an unwinnable law suit? This is not snark, I am curious about why them and not one of the countless Illinois vendors who are still serving their clients while waiting to get paid.


  5. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    The Comptroller should be required to provide the funding authorization and source. If it was not legal to pay it earlier, what changed? Did the State receive a dedicated gift?


  6. - Boo! - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    This entire issue of payments to ALL owed $ is so old. Political one ups man ship, is what all this is about. I would not be surprised if a personal payment was made, seeing how nobody knows “nuting”. This has turned into a video game. Another Pension downgrade to boot. Mr. Speaker and Gov. Rauner, neither one of your plans are working. This waiting until after the election to see who wins more seats, which is costing north of at least $35 million is repulsive. Nobody is taking ANY responsibility for where we are at. Time to start packing and get out of Dodge.


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 3:58 pm:

    Good on the Sun-Times for going to bat for them. If they hadn’t, I don’t think it would have played out as it did.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Two Burke-related scoops by the Sun-Times
* Today's must-read
* More details emerge about cannabis legalization
* Did Pritzker defeat an incumbent Illinois governor by the biggest margin ever?
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Caption contest!
* Sun-Times begins to hold candidates' feet to the fire
* CTBA responds to Fitch Ratings
* Unclear on the concept
* So far, so good for Illinois auto jobs
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tax credit could help small biz deal with minimum wage hike
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller