Providers of services to senior citizens say they’re close to shutting their doors because the state isn’t following a court order to pay them during the budget stalemate.On August 15, Illinois Department on Aging issued a letter to providers in the Community Care Program that it doesn’t have the authority to make payments without a budget agreement. Teresa Collins, vice president of the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers (IACCPHP), is accusing Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration of ignoring consent decrees, and says by not paying providers, long-term damage may be done to the program.“The infrastructure of this great program that saves the state of Illinois money, is going to be broken and devastated and will be beyond repair,” Collins said.
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The program pays for some assistance for seniors which allows them to continue living at home, rather than moving in more expensive nursing home facilities. IACCHP says around half of the state’s providers will be closing within three to eight weeks unless payments begin being sent out.State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Evanston) says the move amounts to the administration inflicting harm upon senior citizens. “You are under a consent decree. You are ignoring everything. You are doing bad things and you’re hurting people. Stop it,” Feighenholtz said.The comptroller’s office had blamed a shortage of money on the state not complying with a separate court order on paying for services for the developmentally disabled, but says the Community Care Program didn’t fall under that decision.