SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Al Riley, D-Olympia Fields, is continuing his work to protect middle-class families, the elderly and some of Illinois’ most vulnerable residents from the devastating effects of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s impending government shutdown. Riley is pushing to continue funding for critical in-home care for seniors, services for the disabled and essential public safety programs.
“Middle-class families, seniors in need of care and our most vulnerable residents will be hurting from these draconian cuts, Riley said. “It’s clear that more work remains to be done in Springfield. I am committed to working as long as necessary to get a budget that works for the people I represent, and in the meantime, ensuring that vital, potentially life-saving services are allowed to continue. Doing this is a necessary, common-sense measure.”
After the Governor vetoed the state budget, a new fiscal year began Wednesday without a long-term state spending plan in place. The Governor’s actions threaten a number of critical services such as the denial of in-home nursing services to seniors and those with severe disabilities, elimination of community based grants for autism, epilepsy and respite care for family members caring for loved ones. The Governors’ adverse actions will also negatively impact mental health and substance abuse treatment which will increase costs later. Cuts in mass transit funding will likely lead to increased fares and service reductions for transit-dependent individuals in the Chicago region.
Riley is supporting a critical services budget which provides continued funding for some of Illinois’ most important state services. Riley voted to protect critical funding for the Community Care Program, which allows elderly residents to stay in their homes and avoid costlier nursing home care, therapy and work placement assistance for the physically disabled, care for aging veterans, protective shelters for children who are victims of abuse, and public safety services, including operating expenses for prisons and the Illinois State Police, and funding for a program that keeps dangerous sexual predators incarcerated.
“The state budget isn’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, it’s about real people whose lives are in our care,” Riley said. “Illinois needs a long-term budget that provides for these critical services, and for economic growth. However, in the face of a government shutdown, our most pressing need is to provide continuity for the older adults, disabled residents and hard-working families who expect the state to be there for them.”
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