Watch CBS News

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Blasts Gov. Rauner For "Deplorable" Inaction Leading To Social Service Cuts

(CBS) -- Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says Governor Rauner's inaction has led to the shutdown of dozens of social service programs.

On Friday Lutheran Social Services announced it will close 30 programs and lay off 750 employees.

Without a state budget, programs and staff had to be cut. Now Sheriff Dart and the National Alliance on Mental Illness are speaking out.

In a statement, Dart says the cuts were due to the shameful inaction of Governor Bruce Rauner.

"Our Governor frequently touts his business acumen and data-driven approach to public policy. I would love for him to show me the data proving that his stubborn refusal to consider the interests of the most vulnerable among us does anything other than destroy lives and swell our criminal justice system," said Sheriff Dart. "Lutheran provides essential services to the very people government is supposed to care for in times of distress. For the Governor to allow these programs to wither way is simply deplorable. Without Lutheran's diversion programs, my Cook County Jail population will rise, costing taxpayers significantly more in both the short-term and long-term."


NAMI Chicago executive director Alexa James says they are in crisis because the mental health system is already bare bones and now without the help of Lutheran Social Services, she says many families will be adversely affected.

"This is a very sad day in our communities, our neighborhoods, our county, our state. Policy makers have decided that our veterans, our seniors, individuals impacted by mental illness and substance abuse disorders are not valued. Where will they seek treatment now?" said James.

Governor Rauner's office issued a statement saying, "Governor Rauner is frustrated by the lack of action in Springfield. Tom Dart knows very well that? groups like Lutheran Social Services could be fully funded tomorrow if he and Mike Madigan placed a higher priority on social services than defending the out-of-control, job-killing power of special interests. While Governor Rauner stands ready to pass job-creating legislation and fund social services in a balanced budget, Tom Dart and Mike Madigan want special interests to keep their power at the expense of social services."

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.