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*** UPDATED x1 *** Dems, Repubs push Pritzker on non-profit funding

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020

* Politico

It’s not often that Illinois Democrats and Republicans are on the same page, but that’s the case this week when it comes to money for nonprofits. Illinois’ GOP delegation in D.C. and state Democrats in the General Assembly are concerned about nonprofits being denied state funding because they accepted cash from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

According to letters they sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Human Services and Department of Children and Family Services are reducing or delaying state funding for nonprofits that received PPP funds.

These service organizations “serve thousands of Illinois residents,” the state Democrats say in their letter urging Pritzker not to reduce state funding for nonprofits. “While we recognize the state is facing budget constraints, the level of need for social services has exponentially increased” in wake of the pandemic due to unemployment, food insecurity, housing insecurity, and other economic challenges. […]

The GOP delegation’s letter is pointed: “Congress did not intend for the funds provided through the Paycheck Protection Program to supplement state budgets by offsetting the cost they pay for services through private nonprofit service providers,” the lawmakers wrote.

The governor isn’t likely to act on the lawmakers’ concerns. As Pritzker’s office explained to Playbook: The state kept paying social service providers during the pandemic, even when they couldn’t provide services. The goal was to keep those agencies whole. The money the state pays each month is for rent, utilities and personnel costs. The state says the agencies that take PPP funds to pay for rent, utilities and personnel costs, shouldn’t be paid for the same thing twice. Businesses and hospitals, on the other hand, don’t contract with the state for services.

Republican pushed back at the explanation, saying, “The state’s assertion that it may deduct an amount equivalent to any funds nonprofit organizations receive through PPP from what they are paid in their contracts is a clear overreach. Nonprofit service organizations should not be punished at the expense of the state during this difficult time.”

* From the GOP delegation’s letter

As you are aware, the State of Illinois has consistently underfunded these nonprofit service providers.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** The governor was asked about this today

We have to marshal our resources, and when someone’s getting direct federal dollars to cover the very same expenses that would have been covered by the state, it seems logical to me at least for the time being to make to use those resources to cover other challenges that we have during this very difficult time.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments »
  1. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    Agree with the Congressman.
    I find it hard to reconcile Pritzker’s position in allowing the Navy Pier governmental group (that he has a role in appointing people that serve on that Board) to receive PPL loans and then financially punish not for profits that are just following fed guidelines.


  2. - don the legend - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    From the GOP delegation’s letter…

    As you are aware, the State of Illinois has consistently underfunded these nonprofit service providers.

    Perhaps the GOP can find some self awareness from some unlikely source.


  3. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 10:14 am:

    Republicans want the state to pay for nonprofits expenses twice? Again, CONSERVATIVES want these providers to double dip? Ok…


  4. - Bertrum Cates - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 10:17 am:

    = As you are aware, the State of Illinois has consistently underfunded these nonprofit service providers. =

    I’m frustrated, too, but…


  5. - Rh - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    If they have been kept whole how are they being punished. This is the thinking that keeps this State broke


  6. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 11:32 am:

    It is a low interest loan that has to be paid back if certain guidelines are not met. The state also has guidelines that need to be met.
    We should not be taking a ham handed approach to removing funding from organizations that are really suffering from a pretty much complete shutdown of many of the fund raising efforts they depend on. Our Illinois residents depend on many non profits to keep their lives together.
    These are extremely troubling time and non profits are playing an important role in keeping our society from falling apart.
    Team Pritzker should re-examine their approach to how they view and deal with our vulnerable fellow citizens..


  7. - Earnest - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=124124

    The state originally required all providers to apply, though some thought the PPP inappropriate for their organizations, then came out with guidance that CILA (group home) providers are not recommended to apply as their services hadn’t been stopped or limited. The implication that the state may consider the PPP to be a federal funding source and thus have a potential case for fraudulent billing for contracutual services is disconcerting. They have an FAQ about “double dipping” which is not adequate reassurance. DHS has done a great job supporting providers during this crisis, but has been ham-handed in their PPP messaging to agencies who have been burned by the state many times over the years.


  8. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 12:05 pm:

    So here’s the issue — you have a contract with the State of Illinois that the State of Illinois continues to pay that pays the salary of specific employees. Then you get a loan to pay the salaries of the same specific employees that is forgiven if you pay the salaries of those employees.

    Now you’ve paid your employees — did it come from state funds, or did it come from loan funds?

    If it didn’t come from state funds, you’re violating your contract with the State of Illinois.

    If it didn’t come from loan funds, you’re violating the terms of your loan, maybe?

    I could see this being a pause for concern for a lot of reasons, but I’m not in a position to sort out of it violates state law or is some light fraud.

    I just know I didn’t apply for unemployment benefits because I’m not unemployed, and if I did the State would ask me to pay it back.


  9. - BobO - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 12:19 pm:

    The concerns over double-dipping may be valid if the service provider is 100% funded by the State of Illinois. However, many are not fully funded and need to use the PPP to cover the unfunded expenses. Instead of a wholesale withholding of state funds, Illinois needs to formalize a process by which service organizations can justify receiving both PPP and state funds. As of now, organizations are told that their state funding will be withheld because they received PPP.


  10. - Earnest - Wednesday, Jun 24, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    >Then you get a loan to pay the salaries of the same specific employees that is forgiven if you pay the salaries of those employees.

    I think where the US Reps are coming from is that the intent of the PPP was general: to support businesses to stay open and keep people employed. It wasn’t merely to replace a business’ revenue over the specific forgiveness timeframe, whether a bar or restaurant, retail establishment or human service agency. It was to help businesses and employees get through the crisis, not solely through a specific 56-day period (now lengthened, I know).


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