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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:39pm
Wed Jul 22

U.S. House Budget Bill Seeks Deep Cuts To Education, Labor & Health Programs

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at a U.S. House budget bill covering the departments of labor, health and human services (HHS) and education. The House Appropriations Committee advanced the spending measure last month.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:48pm
Tue Jun 9

Supreme Court Obamacare Ruling Could Impact Subsidies For 232,000 Illinoisans

Progress Illinois takes a look at what's at stake in the Supreme Court case on Obamacare and its tax subsidies. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:05am
Sat May 30

'Bare-Bones' Illinois Mental Health System Can't Afford Further Cuts, Advocates Say

In a new report, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Chicago urges against cuts to public mental health services in Illinois, which are already stretched thin and could be dealt a significant blow if Gov. Bruce Rauner gets his way on the budget. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed May 13

Mental Health Advocates Rally Against Rauner's Proposed Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

Carrying signs reading, "Mental wellness is a human right," a few hundred Illinoisans took to the Thompson Center Wednesday afternoon to rally against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts to mental health services and other crucial programs.

At the event, spearheaded by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Chicago, speaker after speaker denounced Rauner's 2016 budget plan, which seeks to slash funding for the mental health division of the Illinois Department of Human Services by 15 percent. That works out to be a proposed cut of $82 million.

Cash-strapped Illinois faces a $6 billion budget deficit in the 2016 fiscal year, beginning July 1. To plug that hole, Rauner wants to significantly cut funding from a range of budgetary items, including $1.5 billion from Medicaid.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:13pm
Fri Mar 6

Illinois Advocacy Groups Unite To Protect Medicaid From Rauner Budget Cuts

Health advocates and service providers vowed to ramp up pressure against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Friday, specifically taking aim at his proposal to slash the Medicaid program next fiscal year by $1.5 billion, during a "Medicaid and Budget Advocacy Summit."

About 200 people attended the summit, held at the Chicago office of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois Indiana. The union co-hosted the event with the AIDS Foundation Chicago, Campaign for Better Healthcare, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Citizen Action Illinois, Heartland Alliance, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, among other groups.

Organizers said the summit, which included a panel discussion on the governor's budget plan and breakout sessions about advocacy strategies, marks the start of a "long campaign" by the various groups seeking to put a human face on Rauner's proposed Medicaid cuts and influence lawmakers to opt against balancing the budget on the backs of vulnerable residents and working families. 

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