I believe August is going to be an important month in our advocacy for a responsible
state budget with new revenue. I believe that we need to become more active, vocal
and forceful with our State Senators and Representatives. We need them to support
community services and new revenue.
As Phil and I have been talking to legislators, a common question they ask is how long
will people with disabilities continue to receive community services with no state budget?
At this point, it looks like September is the month many community organizations will
experience severe financial problems so our time is short.
The Arc will continue to serve as a resource to legislators regarding the reduction or
elimination of services, but local Execs, families, individuals with disabilities and board
members should also make those contacts.
We would encourage you, people with disabilities and families members contact their
State Senators and Representatives on this issue during August.
We need a responsible budget with new revenue that fully funds important
disability services now!
If agreement on the budget cannot be reached the Legislative Leaders and the
Governor must agree upon a monthly budget that fully funds disability and other
Let’s work together on this.
We need you and other advocates to be all over our legislators now. Indecision on their
part is intolerable!
Another deadline is approaching for Illinois to pass a state budget, but some state
agencies are not too hopeful lawmakers and the Governor will be able to come to a
compromise by Friday.
These days the Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living is quiet. Back on
July 2nd, the Sterling agency announced they were closing their doors temporarily to the
public. Their contract with the state ended June 30th, and with no budget set for next
year a new contract can’t start.
“We had hoped it would only be a week at the most,” said Executive Director, Michele
Now a month later and it’s the same story.
“We had to lay off our entire team,” said Miller.
The agency has been around for 30 years helping people with disabilities live on their
own through the programs they offer. Miller says the lawmakers are taking the
independence away from their customers.
“They have complete control over whether or not we can exist and no one has the right to
take away services from people with disabilities,” said Miller.
She isn’t hopeful lawmakers will be able to pass a budget by their Friday, July 31st deadline.
Miller says the longer it takes the bigger the impact.
“More agencies are going to close, more people won`t get services,” said Miller.
Miller says if the budget isn’t passed by mid-September it will reopen until their reserves are
gone, so they can save money now and use it later when there is a greater need for service
in the fall.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423