The head of the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF) says there could be severe consequences for nearly 26,000 individuals in the state with developmental disabilities or mental illness as well as community service providers if no state budget agreement is reached before the new fiscal year starts on July 1.
"Without a budget or clear direction from state agencies, the consequences will be severe," said IARF President and CEO Janet Stover, reported the Illinois Observer. "Tens of thousands will lose service, and thousands more will be sent to the unemployment line as these predominately not-for-profit organizations struggle to stay afloat."
In the event that a budget is not adopted by July 1, IARF says services for 25,812 individuals with developmental disabilities or mental illness would likely be reduced or could eventually end altogether. IARF reached that number based on a recent survey of its provider members.
Service providers might also have to layoff some 5,000 staffers, according to IARF.
"These providers are making decisions now on when they will exhaust reserves and lines of credit and when they will need to inform individuals, families, and the state of termination of services and closures," Stover stressed. "These decisions are being planned right now, and we see a very clear timeline of the system dismantling."
In related news, the Illinois Department of Human Services said in a Tuesday letter to providers that it plans to issue its Community Service Agreements for the 2016 fiscal year by the end of the week. But in the letter, DHS Secretary James Dimas said that not all "providers and programs will be issued a CSA (Community Service Agreement) for this year."
Dimas further warned, "For those that do receive a CSA for this year, the very real possibility remains that either: (i) the amount and availability of the grant will be modified, or (ii) payments to your organization will not begin until the fiscal situation is resolved."
For providers that do not receive a state contract with DHS for fiscal year 2016, Dimas said that "no payment will be approved for any activities performed on or after July 1, 2015."