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Tue, 13 Jun 2017
While The State of Illinois Shrinks, Others May Grow

On July 1, Illinois will be entering its third year without a budget and there is no shortage of blame to go around for this mammoth failure of state government. But as non-political entities, we are not interested in finger pointing. We just want to be paid by the state for services that have been provided – and continue to be provided – despite the lack of a state budget.

The result of the nearly two-year old budget impasse has been numerous program cuts and eliminations, staff layoffs, and closures of human and social service agencies that provide essential and life-saving services. And looking forward, each day we don’t get paid, our ability to continue our work dims a bit more.

Survey results from 43 agencies and companies that are part of the Pay Now Illinois coalition forecast that without a budget resolution within the next six months:

• 60% expect staff cuts

• 58% expect significant cuts to programs

Without a budget in a year:

• 65% expect staff cuts

• 70% forecast program cuts

And beyond a year without a budget resolution:

• 82% expect some or significant staff cuts

• 19% forecast the possibility of shutting down.

In survey comments, plaintiffs wrote that lenders may pull back because of the state’s lost credibility, while others are struggling to figure out how to keep the lights on. One plaintiff summed up the future for his organization by saying: We are a growing business in a fast growing market with headquarters in Illinois. Based on current and projected financial outlook for Illinois we will not make any investment in jobs or expansion in the state and will make these investments in other states.

Not only does that reduce the availability of social services in the state, it means fewer jobs in Illinois, fewer taxes, empty offices, less revenue, bigger deficit.

So as Illinois shrinks, another state may grow. On Wednesday, June 14 a hearing will be held in St. Clair County Circuit Court in the lawsuit filed by Pay Now Illinois against the governor and other state officials seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction that would force Illinois to begin payments for services performed under binding contracts dating back to the start of the current fiscal year, July 1, 2016. The hearing will begin at 1:30, with Judge Robert LeChien presiding.
Posted 20:59

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