(Alton, IL) – As Illinois faces a $13 billion budget deficit, Governor Quinn looks to cut community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness by $216 million. Along with cuts, the Governor has proposed a 45 day payment delay to community-based providers on top of the current average 60-90 day cycle.

Many agencies across the state are currently owed well over $1 million dollars and have been forced to borrow or extend lines of credit in FY10; accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in non-reimbursable interest expenses.

Taking into account the Governor’s proposed budget, community services will be cut $322 million
over the last three fiscal years. As community services consistently receives reduced funding, it is
increasingly difficult for agencies to provide the quality supports and services people have come to expect and deserve.

Governor Jim Edgar recently said, “there are some programs in state government that can mean the difference between life and death. Those programs you can’t cut.” For many individuals within the developmentally disabled and mentally ill populations, cuts to such services and supports do mean the difference between life and death.

To avoid cuts to one of the state’s most vulnerable populations, HB 174 has been introduced. The bill would raise between 5.0 and 5.2 billion in new and recurring tax revenues, provide a tax relief to  homeowners and low-income families, and would also provide additional funding to human services, health services, and public schools.

As May deliberations are quickly approaching, inform your local legislators of your opinion on this issue.

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