Watch CBS News

Social Service Groups Urge Rauner To End Budget Stalemate

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The day before Governor Bruce Rauner was set to deliver his "State of the State" address, a group representing 200 Illinois service agencies was calling him out for the ongoing budget stalemate.

"This isn't pretty. We are facing a crisis. Illinois is weak and getting weaker," said Emily Miller, director of policy for Illinois Voices for Children.

She and other members of the Illinois Responsible Budget Coalition held a news conference to urge Rauner to act now. Without a state budget, thousands of social service agencies and providers have been making layoffs and reducing services, because they haven't been paid.

"Without replacing the billions of dollars of revenue lost, after last year's 25 percent tax cut, the state's backlog of unpaid bills is skyrocketing," she said.

Celena Roldan, of Erie Neighborhood House, which provides services of immigrants, said they continue to feel the impact of the ongoing state budget impasse, as the state has not been paying social service providers.

"Since July, we've lost $500,000 in revenue," she said.

Roldan said they've also had to lay off eight employees, and might face closure.

"I rely on MAP grants. I'm a veteran and a student. I am having trouble making ends meet. There are thousands of other students and universities out there experiencing the same thing," said DePaul University student Tyler Solorio. "This budget stalemate is a crisis and it's a crisis that will have ripple affects going on for years."

The group is calling on the governor and lawmakers to adopt a spending and revenue plan that protects vital services for Illinois workers, families, children, seniors, immigrants, and other residents in fiscal year 2016. Illinois has been without a budget since the summer.

WBBM contacted the Governor's office for a comment.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.