Archive for December 2009

Illinois Human Services Coalition Urges Governor Quinn, Treasurer Giannoulias, and Comptroller Hynes to Agree to Short-Term Borrowing to Pay State Vendors

December 17, 2009

Governor Pat Quinn

(Chicago, IL) — A coalition of almost 100 non-profit human service providers today called on Governor Pat Quinn, Comptroller Dan Hynes and Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias to work together on a mutually acceptable plan to borrow a short-term loan to enable Illinois to speed delayed payments to provider agencies.

At a press conference in Springfield, human service advocates warned that non-payment of state bills are threatening client programs and undermining agencies’ finances.

“At the moment, most human service providers have been waiting since August to be paid—that’s more than four months,” said Don Moss, Coordinator of the Illinois Human Services Coalition.

“Without payments, agencies, which serve senior citizens, individuals recovering from mental illness, at-risk teenagers, will soon exhaust lines of credit from local banks to pay their employees.”

Illinois now owes approximately $4.5 billion to all state vendors, and, in some cases, the payment cycle extends six months.

“There is no sign that legislature will raise meaningful new revenue in the immediate future to pay the state’s unpaid bills,” said Marge Berglind, President & CEO of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “Without a short-term loan, payment delays will grow even further, guaranteeing the collapse of programs and agencies in Illinois.”

Agencies represented by the Child Care Association are alone owed approximately $23,545,000 from assorted state departments, Berglind noted.

“They are running on fumes,” Berglind said.

  • Specifically, for example, the state of Illinois owes $1.1 million to the Children’s Home Association of Illinois in Peoria, which cares for children with mental health needs and youth with delinquency support needs throughout Central Illinois. The state has failed to pay most bills since the beginning of July.
  • The states also owes $743,00 to Kids Hope United in Springfield and Chicago, which provides youth services and family supports to young mothers at risk of child abuse and neglect statewide. Again, the state has failed to pay most bills since July.

Since July, Illinois has borrowed $2.25 billion in short-term loans that must be repaid by June 30, 2010. Governor Quinn  has been seeking a third loan for $500 million that could draw in federal government matching Medicaid money.

“The Illinois Human Services Coalition strongly encourages Governor Quinn, Treasurer Giannoulias and Comptroller Hynes to craft a workable and mutually acceptable short-term borrowing plan that will enable the state to help pay bills to financially stretched human service providers,” said Moss.

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Child Welfare Advocates Award “Champion for Children” Honor to Froehlich, Lang, Cronin and Kotowski

December 2, 2009

State Senator Dan Cronin

(Chicago, IL) – The Child Care Association of Illinois today bestowed its “Champion for Children” award on four Illinois state lawmakers for their legislative advocacy in behalf of Illinois abused and neglected children and foster families.

Receiving the award are State Rep. Paul Froehlich (D-Schaumburg), State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), State Senator Dan Cronin (R-Elmhurst), and State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge).

Kotowski and Froehlich sponsored legislation this year to create a new approach to help Illinois abused and neglected children living in residential and group homes get more sophisticated care and avoid hospitalization.

The measure, Senate Bill 1372, would develop a performance-based program and payment model for the state residential foster care services to be implemented by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

“We are very grateful to Senator Kotowski and Representative Froelich for their aggressive and successful efforts to win approval of the bill,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

State Senator Dan Kotowski

“For this significant legislative achievement, we are proud to present them our Champion for Children Award.”

Senator Cronin earned his “Champion for Children Award” for his sponsorship of legislation that requires DCFS each year to review cost reimbursements the foster parent cost of care for abused and neglected children and report to the General Assembly.

This year, the state ignored that food prices jumped 8% in 2008 and ignored the forecast that prices would increase another 7% to 8% by the end of 2009, providing no extra money to help foster parents pay for groceries, Berglind noted.

“With Senator Cronin’s bill, foster children will benefit by helping to expand the pool of willing and capable foster parents who currently are deterred by the out-of-pocket expenses,” said Berglind.

“We are proud to recognize Senator Cronin’s leadership on behalf of foster families.”

Finally, House Deputy Majority Leader Lang received the award for his long-time legislative advocacy in behalf of Illinois foster families.

“Rep. Lang has long fought to adequately reimburse Illinois foster parents for the cost of care and more broadly has long been a leader in child welfare reform,” said Berglind, “And we are proud to grant him our ‘Champion for Children’ award this year.”