(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn joined more than 5,000 human service supporters, clients, and workers at a rally at the state capitol in Springfield today to protest the looming 50% funding cuts to human service providers under the Illinois General Assembly’s “doomsday” budget that begins on July 1.
Under the “doomsday” budget, Quinn’s administration is warning 65,000 people will lose drug
treatment, 175,000 will lose mental health care, 40,000 seniors will no longer have home healthcare aides, 9,000 foster parents will have their expense reimbursement halved, and more.
“This budget will destroy Illinois’ addiction healthcare system,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Little will remain standing on July 1.”
The fiscal year 2010 state budget is facing a $9.2 billion deficit. Of that amount, $5 billion will cut from community human service providers.
The legislature cut $2.24 billion from the Illinois Department of Human Services, reducing, for example, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse contracts to community services providers by 75%.
Lawmakers are in the state capitol this week mulling over possible options to avoid the human service budget cuts that Quinn has warned are coming without an income tax increase.
“It is absolutely essential that the legislature pass an income tax increase,” said Don Moss, Coordinator of the Illinois Human Services Coalition.
“For the sake of the private nonprofit human service delivery system throughout our state, the alternative, as they say, is too horrible to contemplate.”
The Illinois Human Services Coalition and SEIU joined IADDA as the rally’s co-hosts.
The legislature is in special session this week to grapple with the budget crisis.