Today we host a sold out Employment First Seminar at the Tinley Park Convention
Center featuring Dale DiLeo. Dale is known around the world for his work on
integrated employment and author of “Raymond’s Room.”

The House Human Services Appropriation has changed it date for the Dept. of
Human Services Budget hearing now on Thursday, March 19th in the Capitol.

This Wednesday night on the WGN TV News cuts to respite care and other supports
to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Arc members will
be featured. Special thanks to the Bedard family and Community Support Services
CEO Diane Farina White for assisting us in doing this story.

The President of the State Senate comes out strongly against the proposed state
budget in this story below from the State Journal Register in Springfield.


Cullerton calls Rauner’s proposed budget ‘unworkable

By Sara Burnett
The Associated Press

CHICAGO — The Democratic leader of the Illinois Senate on Monday called Gov.
Bruce Rauner’s proposed state budget “as unworkable as it is unconscionable,”
suggesting the Republican try again to draft a balanced spending plan that doesn’t
disproportionately hurt people who are struggling to get ahead.

Senate President John Cullerton also said he and Rauner remain far from finding a
way to fund state programs that already are running out of money, despite the
governor’s repeated assurances that a deal is “days away.”

“I’m not looking to start a fight with our new governor. I want to work with him,”
Cullerton said during a speech in his hometown of Chicago. “But I don’t work for him,
and his budget doesn’t work for Illinois.”

Cullerton’s comments were another clear indication of how difficult it will be for
Rauner and the Democrat-controlled legislature to find common ground on two
budget fronts, with the two sides even disagreeing over whether negotiations have
taken place at all.

Cullerton complained Rauner hasn’t invited him and other legislative leaders to sit
down and discuss the issue, while Rauner spokesman Lance Trover said Cullerton
has met repeatedly with the governor and has had “every opportunity” to discuss any
topic he wants.

“It’s unclear why President Cullerton seems intent on undermining a bipartisan
agreement to clean up the fiscal mess that Senate Democrats created,” Trover said.

The current fiscal year’s budget is short about $1.6 billion, due to Democrats
approving a spending plan prior to the November election that didn’t include enough
money to cover expenses. They had hoped to return after the election to pass an
extension of a temporary income tax increase that was scheduled to roll back on Jan.
1, but Rauner’s win over Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn put that plan on hold.

Rauner has repeatedly said that raising taxes isn’t the answer and will hurt economic
growth. He says the state must first fix “structural issues,” such as too much
government bureaucracy and a too-cozy relationship between unions and legislators.

He wants legislators to give him broad authority to move money from special state
funds to plug the hole in this year’s budget, but Senate Democrats have been reluctant
to do so. Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, said the

Democrat believes it will be easier to get House approval for a spending fix if Rauner
lays out where he would cut and which funds he would take money from to make up
for shortages. Among the programs that already have run out of money is one that
subsidizes day care for low-income residents.

Rauner’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 — when Illinois faces
a more than $6 billion shortfall — would cut more than $1 billion from Medicaid, slash
in half the amount of tax revenue the state directs to municipalities, and reduce funding
on everything from higher education to public transportation.

– See more at:

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)