Agencies making up the United Way of Illinois are concerned lawmakers still don't understand the impact of what's left of the state budget impasse.

A United Way survey says large majorities of social service agencies getting funding from the state are cutting clients, services, hours of operation, you name it. But to hear United Way of Central Illinois president John Kelker tell is, lawmakers don't get it, despite continuing House hearings on the matter.


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"I don't think that they know the severe strikes that the state has made against supporting families getting child care assistance, and don't know the impact of not having food and home services for the seniors," says Kelker.  "I think they're playing with a political football and putting the people at risk in the state.

Kelker says despite all those hearings, there's otherwise been no movement to help those agencies funded by the nine percent of the state budget not covered by a legal maneuver.  He says more and greater contributions to the United Way would help, but the "crisis" -- as he calls it -- goes beyond that.

"It would be very nice if people were philanthropic -- whether it's the United Way, or supporting an agency directly, but that's not going to make up the kind of resources the state has," says Kelker.  "I think people do need to ask their local leadership to come to the table, act like statesmen, and come to a reasonable conclusion."


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