Cutting state funding to Social Service Agencies is unacceptable

May 23, 2010

What happens if special needs children become adults who can’t work enough to support themselves, or who need assistance either because parents have died or are unable to support them, or whose extended family members are unable to absorb the cost of their care?

Living in Lake Bluff, I frequently see developmental disabled adults arrive and return home by commuter train after spending the day working at Lambs Farm in Libertyville.  Lambs Farm cares for 250 developmental disabled adult.  From time to time I see adults being helped by Lambs Farm picking up trash in Lake Bluff under the supervision of a caring Lambs Farm employee. 

The situation is grave here in Illinois, prompted by past budget cuts for social service agencies, and even more critical because of additional cuts proposed in the governor’s FY11 budget.  This is not a partisan political issue, but a systemic one. 

Instead of being compassionate toward the needy and the disadvantaged, state legislators are showing their disrespect for the developmental disabled as human beings.  To  further compound the situation, the Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Friday, May 7, unable to decide on a tax hike or what to cut or how to cut the FY11 budget.

Illinois governor Pat Quinn’s proposed FY11 budget, effective June 30, 2010, includes:

  • Reductions to community-based services and supports for persons with developmental disabilities by $125 million through a 2.5% across-the board rate reduction.
  • Elimination of non-Medicaid grants.
  • Establish a 45-day payment cycle extension.

Countryside Association is an organization located in Palatine, IL, that tends to adults with disabilities.  Wayne A. Kulick is the Executive Director of Countryside Association.  Countryside is deeply concerned, as are many social service agencies here in Illinois, about Governor Quinn’s proposed $25 million in budget cuts and how the reduced funding will affect Countryside’s work to assist needy adults who depend on the organization for assistance.

Despite facing a budget deficit amounting to billions of dollars, a $124 million cut in funds to assist social service agencies is an insignificant amount of money when pitted against Governor Quinn’s massive proposed Illinois FY11 budget in the billions of dolllars!  

Contact Senator Susan Garrett at ilsenate29@sbcglobal.net and Representative Karen May at Kren@repkarenmay.org  to let them know that it is unacceptable to cut $124 million from the FY11 Illinois budget for community-based organizations who assist individuals with developmental disabilities who can’t care for themselves.

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