Posted tagged ‘Pat Quinn’

Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s Opposition to Legislative Efforts to Pay State Bills to Hospitals, Schools, Vendors Draws Criticism

May 24, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois’ treasurer cannot stop lawmakers from borrowing billions to pay the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, but he can make it more expensive — and that’s exactly what Dan Rutherford says  he plans to do.

Rutherford on Monday said he cannot support adding to Illinois burgeoning debt.

The first-term Republican treasurer released his own report that states Illinois total debt would cost every household in the state $42,000. Rutherford arrived at the number by adding Illinois’ $140 billion in unfunded pension and health-care liabilities, the state’s $45 billion bond debt, and the nearly $8 billion in unpaid bills.

The treasurer said lawmakers must cut spending and live within their means in order for Illinois to pay off the debt.

“You can’t borrow anymore money,” said Rutherford. “And if I need to send letters to the rating companies to tell them the treasurer of Illinois is opposed to any more borrowing, I’ll go ahead and do that.”

Rutherford said alerting national rating agencies and bond houses could make it more expensive for Illinois to borrow. He said hopes that step would give lawmakers pause before asking for a billion dollars.

And while the state’s treasurer can only stop short-term borrowing, lawmakers are maneuvering to pass a measure through the General Assembly that would bypass any authority Rutherford has.

“I don’t have a vote on (the Senate plan),” said Rutherford. “If it’s long term, I can’t stop it.”

State Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, said Republican and Democratic lawmakers must approve any borrowing, and Rutherford’s approach to handling Illinois’ massive pile of unpaid bills bothers him.

“Right now we’re using school districts, universities, private companies and health-care providers — we’re using them as our credit card,” said Sullivan. “They’re carrying that debt for us.”
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Illinois Tax Income Plummets $2.2 Billion in 2012, New Report Says

March 28, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Tax money coming into state and local governments in Illinois fell sharply —  by $2.2 billion dollars between 2009 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The decline in tax revenue from $32 billion to $29.8 billion is on par with a pattern that has emerged during the past several years. Areas that measure a state’s economic health — income, sales and property taxes — all have weakened.

Illinois isn’t alone in watching tax revenue drop off. The 50 states saw a decrease of $14 billion in tax money between 2009 and 2010, according to census numbers.

While income dropped for Illinois, general fund spending increased from $27.9 billion to $29.7 billion between 2009 and 2010.  The total state budget is a combination of general fund spending and other dedicated and federal dollars.

Experts in government and economics say the driving factor behind the numbers was the most recent economic recession.

“We were not expecting, like no one was really expecting back in 2008, that revenues would fall that much,” said Kelly Kraft, spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn’s Office of Budget and Management.
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Pat Quinn’s Budget Jeopardizes 24-Hour Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Care, After School, Special Ed for 17,000 Troubled Teens

April 27, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes additional $4.1 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers will undermine care and after school programs for at least 17,000 children, according to advocates today who appeared at an Illinois Senate panel hearing.

“Governor Pat Quinn last month delivered a brief but dismal budget message,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “And that message said the state will once again slash care to more than 17,000 troubled Illinois teenagers.”

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget under the Illinois Department of Human Services, headed by Secretary Michelle Saddler, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10% this year and 20% in the last two state budgets.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts totaling 30%,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Berglind made her comments as the Illinois State Senate Humans Services Appropriations Committee today took budget testimony at its hearing from youth service advocates.  Senate Committee members include: Chairman Donne Trotter (D), Jeff Schoenberg (D), Jacqueline Collins (D), William Delgado (D), Mattie Hunter (D), Mike Jacobs (D), Emil Jones, III (D), Matt Murphy (R), Pamela Althoff (R), Tim Bivins (R), Chris Lauzen (R), Dave Syverson (R).

Additionally, Berglind noted that Illinois Department of Human Services officials said that 4,200 children would lose care due to Quinn’s cuts to Mental Health Community Based services.

“Eliminating mental health care for 4,200 children will likely doom their academic performance,” said Berglind.

Finally, Berglind noted that the state special education budget took a huge hit of almost $67 million in Quinn’s budget. In the budget, the Regular Orphanage Act line is down 25.44%, the Special Ed Orphanage Act line is down 32.13% and the Private Tuition Line is down 13.78%.

“State support for special education is down, down, down the drain,” said Berglind.

“We urge the General Assembly to develop a budget that reverses the massive cuts to care, after school, and special education programs for troubled youth,” said Berglind.

Illinois House Sends Gov. Pat Quinn Lyons-Kotowski Bill to Secure $17 Million from Federal Government for Illinois Foster Care

April 22, 2010

State Rep. Joe Lyons

(Springfield, IL) — April 22, 2010. The Illinois House today unanimously approved a bill that would enable the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to capture an additional $17 million from the federal government to help pay for Illinois foster children care.

The House backed the legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) and State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), 113-0.

“The economic crisis has undermined a DCFS fund that pays for care of abused and neglected children and it can no longer generate enough money to sustain current spending,” said Marge Berglind, President of Child Care Association of Illinois.

“The legislation will cost the state nothing. All the new money would come from the federal government.”

DCFS has asked private child welfare agencies to voluntarily convert foster care and counseling services into Medicaid-claimable programs.

In addition to Lyons, House sponsors include: Naomi Jakobsson (D), Sara Feigenholtz (D), Pat Verschoore (D), Jehan Gordon (D), David Leitch (D), Paul Froehlich (D), LaShawn Ford (D) and Tom Holbrook (D).

The measure now goes to Governor Pat Quinn for consideration.

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Bill to Grant Illinois Adult Adoptees Original Birth Certificate Heads to Gov. Pat Quinn’s Desk

April 22, 2010

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

(Springfield, IL) – April 22, 2010. The Illinois Senate yesterday approved legislation that would enable adult adoptees to secure their original birth certificates unless the birth parents object.

Following on the heels of Illinois House passage last week, the Senate approved the plan 36-16. The legislation, House Bill 5428, sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), now goes to Governor Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the legislation.

With Quinn’s signature, the law will take effect in November 2011.

In the meantime, a yearlong informational campaign will alert birth parents that their names would become available to their adopted children, 21 and older, unless they file a formal denial form.

Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi (D-Crest Hill) served as the chief Senate sponsor. Other Senate sponsors included Democrats: Ira Silverstein, Iris Martinez, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter and Donne Trotter.

Feigenholtz, an adoptee who has met her birth mother and labored for more than a decade in the legislature to advance the cause of adoptee rights, said the current system of birth certificate denial to adults, such as herself, is wrong and birth-parent anonymity was relic from generation that sought to hide out-of-wedlock births and adoptions due to stigma.

“Times change,” said Feigenholtz. “Adopted families have to close the book on the stigma.”

Other House sponsors included Democrats: Naomi Jakobsson, Chuck Jefferson, Carol Sente, Karen Yarbrough, Esther Golar, Susana Mendoza, Elaine Nekritz, Julie Hamos, Eddie Jackson, Bob Rita, Mike Smith, Monique Davis, Deborah Mell, Dan Burke, Karen May, Cynthia Soto and Eddie Washington. Republican  Angelo “Skip” Saviano was also a House sponsor.

The Child Care Association of Illinois backed Feigenholtz’s bill.

Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Jeopardizes 24-Hour Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Care, After School, Special Ed for 17,000 Troubled Teens

March 12, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – March 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes $20 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers—on top of a $20 million cut last year—will undermine care and after school programs to at least 17,000 children, according to advocates.

“Governor Pat Quinn delivered a brief but a dismal budget message,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “And that message says the state will slash care to more than 17,000 troubled Illinois teenagers.”

“Governor Quinn’s proposed cuts to youth services will also eliminate approximately 1,075 professional and administrative jobs related to youth programs.”

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10%.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Additionally, Berglind noted that Illinois Department of Human Services officials said that 4,200 children would lose care due to Quinn’s cuts to Mental Health Community Based services.

“Eliminating mental health care for 4,200 children will likely doom their academic performance,” said Berglind.

Finally, Berglind noted that the state special education budget took a huge hit of almost $67 million in Quinn’s budget. In the this budget, which serves DCFS youth with behavioral and learning problems, the Regular Orphanage Act line is down 25.44%, the Special Ed Orphanage Act line is down 32.13% and the Private Tuition Line is down 13.78%.

“State support for special education is down, down, down the drain,” said Berglind.

“We urge the General Assembly to develop a budget that reverses the massive cuts to care, after school, and special education programs for troubled youth,” said Berglind.

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.