Illinois advocates for seniors and people with disabilities are calling on local business owners to speak out against the long-running state budget impasse and the "dangerous" spending cuts proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Representatives from the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans and Citizen Action Illinois, a public interest organization and a progressive political coalition, are spearheading the campaign. They are targeting organizations with GOP connections and businesses that, they say, have donated to local Republican state lawmakers.
Advocates protested and passed out leaflets this week in front of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation -- for which Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and other GOP legislators are board members -- and Cassens Transport Co. in Edwardsville. The activists rallied at the Firewater Saloon in Chicago's Edison Park neighborhood Thursday afternoon, and plan to visit a Joliet pizza parlor and the Park Ridge Community Bank next week.
Their campaign comes during the tenth month of the state budget impasse. Rauner's pro-business, anti-union policy agenda is at the center of the stalemate, which has created financial chaos for higher education institutions and a range of social service providers. Home health care service providers, for example, have yet to receive over $235 million in state payments owed to them, according to SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, the union representing home care workers.
The advocates are dropping off letters to Illinois business owners, urging them to ask their state lawmakers to "defend the home health care program and the home health providers our state's senior citizens and people with disabilities depend on, and pass a responsible budget that rejects Governor Rauner's dangerous cuts."