On Friday many Human Services Advocates were surprised to find an email in their
inboxes entitled SUSPENDED. The Dept. of Human Services suspended 23 grants and
advocates were informed that they were to cease spending immediately. No two week
notice to inform families of their options. No two week notice to give staff a layoff notice.
Stop spending immediately was the dictate.
The Autism Program (TAP), the largest autism network in the United States, was
The Arc Life Span Program unique in the United States as an advocacy and leadership
resource for individuals and families, was suspended after 14 years of service.
One of my fears is that people will return to work today after a holiday break only to
learn their services have been slashed or they are out of work.
At this point only the 23 grants have been suspended, but additional suspensions are
possible and it is my understanding the 2.5% cuts may come into play.
I will seek further clarifications today, but Friday was a sad day here in Illinois. We had
all believed that the Legislative Leaders had agreed upon a budget for the remainder of
this fiscal year that the Governor had signed into law.
A very sad day indeed.
I would urge you to call your legislators and the Governor expressing your outrage about
the elimination of important human services including the cuts to services such as the Life
Span Program, The Autism Program and others.
Rockford REX News story below. Looks like some of the numbers are incorrect
Governor’s office releases list breaking down $26M in grant
A number of state and local organizations have been told to stop spending any further
grant money by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Rauner’s office has released an updated list of programs affected, now including the
amount of grant funding that’s been suspended for each.
A total of 23 grantfunded organizations serving Illinois received a letter on Friday from
the Department of Human Services telling them to “immediately cease incurring
additional obligations, costs or spending any further grant funds until further notice.”
This means that any services already paid for by the groups can move forward, but if
there are funds remaining in the accounts after the services have been paid for, that
money will be returned to the state.
Roughly $26 million total has been suspended between the Department of Human
Services and Department of Public Health for Fiscal Year 2015.
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
— Funeral & Burial, $6.9 million
— Immigrant Integration Services, $3.4 million
— Welcoming Centers, $191,300
— ARC Lifespan, $472,100
— Best Buddies, $250,000
— Autism, $4.3 million
— Group Home Loans, $20,000
— Compulsive Gambling, $406,000
— Westside Health, $94,200
— Addiction Prevention, $1.6 million
— Assistance for Homeless, $300,000
— Community Services, $2 million
— Teen REACH, $3.1 million
— Coalition F/Tech AssistChild, $250,000
— For Children’s Health Program, $231,600
— Outreach to Individuals to Engage in Services, $380,700
— Regions Special Consumer Support, $277,700
— SMRF Training, $420,100
— Transportation, $43,900
— DD Latino Outreach, $87,500
— Microboard Development and Outreach, $47,500
— Epilepsy, $514,700
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
— Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS, $789,800
— Increasing Access to Health CareWellness on Wheels, $180,000
— Wellness on Wheels Mobile Administration 2015, $135,000
— Illinois Tobacco Quitline, $3.1 million
— Project Safe Sleep Education and Outreach, $250,000
— MidAmerica Regional Public Health Leadership Institute, $75,000
The governor’s office sent a response to 13 News saying “part of the solution to solving
the inherited $1.6 billion budget hole without raising taxes or increasing borrowing is to
continue to evaluate the current fiscal year’s budget. The governor’s office worked with
agencies to see which grants could be suspended without impacting essential services.”
There are a number of local programs that are impacted by the cuts including The
Epilepsy Foundation of North Central Illinois and The Autism Program of Illinois.
The Epilepsy Foundation of North/Central Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska responded by saying:
“The suspension of grant funding for epilepsy, autism, developmental disabilities, and
mental health programs is devastating to the individuals that rely on these services to
receive effective medical treatment and care. These programs are designed to keep
individuals out of the emergency room, employed, in school, and save the state millions
of dollars in healthcare and disability costs.
Elimination of these programs will only put individuals out of work, increase costs to
state run medical care programs, and endanger the lives and wellbeing of hundreds of
thousands Illinoisans living with developmental disabilities and mental health issues.”
The Autism Program of Illinois responded by saying: “We are shocked and saddened by
the decision of the Governor and the Department of Human Services to eliminate TAP
funding for the current fiscal year, particularly when a budget agreement was passed by
the General Assembly and signed by the Governor. The four universities and 13
nonprofit organizations in the TAP network provide critically needed services for Illinois
families which are often available from no other source. The TAP network has brought
more than $34 million in nonstate grants into our state and helps the state save money
when compared to more expensive services later in life.”
We spoke with representatives of the Epilepsy Foundation and The Autism Program who
say they are unsure right now what the future of their organizations will be. The Autism
Program will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss what to do going forward.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423