An Illinois child advocacy group says the state's lack of a budget is "dismantling critical state services."
Illinois hasn't had a budget in place since July 1, and a new report from the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children shows how that is impacting services. Here are some examples:
- No state funding leaves 91% of domestic violence services unfunded, causing service providers to lay off staff or reduce staff hours, putting 75,000 survivors of domestic violence at risk statewide--20,000 in Cook County alone.
- No state funding has left Illinois' only Sudden Infant Death Syndrome prevention provider with only one staff member, making it impossible to provide low-cost, portable cribs to families who can't otherwise afford them, and leaving hundreds of families vulnerable to accidental infant deaths.
- No state funding means sixteen Teen REACH afterschool programs have already closed, leading to more than 1,500 youth losing access to high-quality tutoring and academic support, connections to mentors, and safe, structured environments. An additional 572 students are at immediate risk of losing their Teen REACH afterschool programs. Without state funding, all 15,000 students at 122 sites across the state risk permanently losing afterschool programs that keep them on track to graduate and safe from violence.
- No state funding means that the state conservation police officer force has been reduced by 1/3, leaving Illinois' hunting, fishing and wildlife laws in danger of going unenforced, and ending vital soil conservation programs that prevent health hazards for infants stemming from pollutants in waterways.
"The failure of Illinois lawmakers to restore revenue needed to enact a budget that supports essential services is causing widespread damage to the state, with children, seniors, and those with disabilities the hardest hit," said Lisa Christensen Gee, a policy analyst with Voices for Illinois Children. "It is up to Governor Rauner and the General Assembly to take responsibility for funding our state's priorities by restoring the revenue we need to fully fund a year-long budget."
Check back with Progress Illinois for more on the group's report.