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Illinois Human Service Providers Announce Layoffs
Date:7/13/2009

CHICAGO, July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Illinois human service providers urged Illinois lawmakers today to pass a balanced and fair 12-month budget that does not include deep cuts to human service programs. They also urged legislators to vote "no" on a bill to override Governor's veto of (S.B. 1197) which included cutting human services programs by 50 percent.

Meanwhile, providers around the state have begun to lay off staff and close offices.

"Unfortunately, we have no choice but to begin dismantling the state's infrastructure for helping those who are most in need - the mentally ill, elderly people living in their homes, teen moms, abused mothers, children in day care," said Nancy Ronquillo, executive director, Children's Home and Aid, and spokesperson for Illinois Partners for Human Services, a coalition of organizations providing human services throughout Illinois.

"Like any other business, we can't spend money we don't have and right now we don't have it," Ronquillo continued. "In previous years, social service agencies shrunk programs and drew upon private reserves to keep going. We were hurt last year when the state made cutbacks midyear in promised funding. It is our fiduciary responsibility to cut back now and not wait for a potential break-through in the revenue picture.

"What the Governor and the Legislature fail to understand is that human service programs which close are not easily re-opened when funding is made available and that a caring relationship between client and provider is damaged when ended abruptly," Ronquillo added.

To date, approximately 1,500 employees of human service agencies have received layoff notices. Illinois Partners for Human Services estimates these layoffs will impact services for approximately 150,000 Illinois residents.

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SOURCE Illinois Partners for Human Service
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