Barbara Pritchard in the State Journal Register! Way to go Barbara!
Illinois Needs to Learn Simple Math
Illinois’ current budget cuts are eliminating disability programs and services, leaving people with disabilities scared and uncertain what tomorrow will bring.
Meanwhile, the state is wasting $429 million annually to operate seven state institutions for only 1,700 people. This does not add up.
Funding cuts have eliminated autism programs, the family support network and day services. Why are legislators continuing to use people with disabilities as political pawns? People with disabilities function better with certainty and consistency. Unfortunately, folks like me have gotten caught up in a political game which will have devastating and permanent consequences.
Illinois is the third most institutionalized state in the nation, ranking 47th for providing funding for community-based services for people with disabilities. We can no longer afford to allow costly and antiquated state institutions to drain the system. We can serve close to five people in the community for just one person in an institution.
The math is simple. Close state institutions and redirect those resources to support individualized community services for people with disabilities providing them an improved quality of life and enabling them to be employers and tax paying members of the community.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423