Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Caught In the Middle of the Cuts

CHICAGO -- The State of Illinois has no budget for social services.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the General Assembly have been wrangling over how to balance a budget with an estimated $9 billion deficit. People with disabilities in Illinois have been caught in the middle. The proposed budget cuts the Department of Human Services by 50 percent. Quinn vetoed this portion of the budget, leaving no budget for the department. The Department of Human Services provides services related to mental health, child care, people with disabilities, seniors, addiction problems, and housing, among other services.
Of those who rely on these services, more than 200,000 are people with developmental disabilities. Nonprofit agencies that provide serves for people with disabilities--such as therapy, respite care and employment support--are being forced to cut services or shut their doors. The full impact of the budget crisis is not yet known, as agencies are scrambling to continue services with no promise of future payments or grants from the state.

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