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Illinois Budget Cuts Fall Deepest on the Most Vulnerable

CHICAGO, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The FY11 proposed budget Governor Quinn released on March 10, 2010 includes unacceptable cuts to human services – totaling $276 million.  These cuts fall on the most vulnerable in our state – seniors, people with mental illness and disabilities, victims of violence, and children. Such cuts will harm individuals and families, result in the loss of jobs across Illinois and further weaken our state's economy.

"Our state faces a budget crisis, but this crisis will not be solved by eliminating services that help people live independently, get and keep jobs and pay taxes," said Nancy Ronquillo, chairperson for Illinois Partners for Human Service, and CEO and president for Children's Home+ Aid.

According to research compiled by the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance (IMPACT) and The Chicago Community Trust (CCT), more than a half million Illinois families have used human services in the last fifteen years. These services include child care; after-school programs for teens; skills training or help finding jobs; counseling for victims of sexual or domestic abuse; assistance for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled; in-home care for the elderly.

With the release of the Governor's FY11 budget proposal, attention now turns to the Illinois General Assembly. "Cuts to human services will not solve our state's budget crisis and will further hurt our communities and state economies. Our elected officials must protect against cuts and work to advance a fair and balanced budget that strengthens both our state economy and our human services infrastructure," Ronquillo said.

According to Social IMPACT, cuts to human services cost Illinois jobs and are bad for the state economy. In addition to the families that receive services, cuts to human services will eliminate jobs, hurting family and business incomes and local economies statewide.

  • Approximately 400,000 Illinoisans work in human service organizations – almost 1 out of every 15 workers
  • 75% of the state's human services are delivered by non-profit businesses
  • Approximately 39,785 jobs in human services will be lost if human service budgets are cut in half, as proposed during the last legislative session.

"Significant cuts to Illinois human services will not only cost Illinois residents assistance they depend upon, it will also result in thousands of newly unemployed service workers at a time when the economy needs more stimulus, not less," said Jim Lewis, Senior Program Officer, The Chicago Community Trust.

Between 2003 and 2010, The Center on Budget and Tax Accountability estimates that human services were under-funded by $4.4 billion after both inflation and growth in demand are taken into account.

Illinois Partners for Human Service was established in 2008 and is a growing statewide network of approximately 400 organizations that advocate for high quality, responsible, and sustainable approaches to providing human service in Illinois.

SOURCE Illinois Partners for Human Service

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SOURCE Illinois Partners for Human Service
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