The State of Illinois is currently operating without a budget because the General Assembly failed to pass one that Governor Quinn would sign. In fact, he vetoed the partial budget they sent him and so as of yesterday, social service agencies across the state were without funding. Many of them have given their employees notice that their jobs will be cut in the next few weeks and others laid people off yesterday.
People who rely on the services provided by many of these agencies - already operating on a shoestring budget given the work they do - will be going without services. That may not seem like a big deal to you or me, but the help developmentally disabled and mentally disabled people receive through these agencies is truly their life line. With assistance, a lot of people are able to live to the fullest of their abilities, have a sense of self-worth and accomplishment, socialize, work, and not be confined to a nursing home or lost in their own brains.
Private agencies that rely on state money in order to provide service had to choose between staying open and providing services and hoping they eventually getting paid by the State (which may never happen) or to shut down and eliminate services. What a horrific choice.
The General Assembly will come back into special session on July 14th to possibly consider overriding Governor Quinn's veto, but that's two weeks away. That's a disgrace. Why should they get to take a two week vacation while thousands of people across the State are suffering because of the lack of action by our lawmakers?
Lawmakers should get back to work and fix this mess they created. Stop holding the most vulnerable citizens of Illinois hostage.
This isn't a Democratic or Republican issue. It's a HUMAN issue.
Related blog posts:
We Must Have Human Services in Illinois
What You Do To The Least Of These, You Do To Me