State service providers speak out amid budget stalemate

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. --The Illinois General Assembly ended its spring session without a budget or a plan to fund schools.

Important state service providers spoke out about the continuing budget impasse and how much of strain it put on them.

Illinois social service providers and schools sounded the alarm warning the Springfield budget stalemate is crippling the state.

“We see our human services crumbling and our universities at the brink,” said State Rep. Laura Fine.

Today, Catholic Charities, which has 150 programs in Cook and Lake counties, said that Illinois’s social safety net is at risk.

Catholic Charities said in a statement:

 Like every other human services provider, we have been greatly impacted by the lack of a State budget…We are owed more than $25 million by the State of Illinois for services that we were contracted to provide.

Chicago Public Schools is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall with $676 million teacher pension payment due by the end of the month.

In a statement CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said:

Nothing is more important than the education of children in every corner of the state, and we ask our leaders in Springfield to be part of the solution not just for Chicago, but all of Illinois.

Today, Governor Rauner embarked on a campaign-style, two-day downstate tour where he blamed the Democrats for the budget mess.

Speaker Madigan’s spokesman told the Chicago Tribune that the Speaker is committed to looking at the governor’s request for short-term funding for social services and schools. But he said Rauner attacks have not help building a coalition to get things done.”