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.
*** 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.