House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton have sent the governor a budget that contains a nearly $4 billion shortfall. This is the 12th year in a row that the two leaders have passed an unbalanced budget. It is likely that only the most vulnerable of Illinois citizens will suffer in this annual legislative arm wrestling match. MRI has absorbed a 2.25% cut in funding this year and faces further cuts beginning July 1st including loss of all state funding of the Kid’s Connection and respite programs. This will amount to a $250,000 funding cut.
We have written our local Legislators and Governor. Only the Governor’s office has replied. It would seem now is a good time to fix the problems in Illinois government. They could enact severe cuts, raise taxes or do a little bit of both. What we can do is continue to call their offices and pray the General Assembly will come to their senses.
MRI will continue Kid’s Connection and group based respite on a fee basis. There will be no in home respite services. This will begin on July 1, 2015. I received a memo today from the Department of Human Services advising that some agencies would receive contracts for next year and some would not. Either way the funding will stop until our “leaders” come to agreement.
Dreux Lewandowski, MRI Executive Director
(originally published June 23, 2015)