PI Original Adam Doster Wednesday August 27th, 2008, 5:45pm

SEIU, Seniors Battle Home Care Cuts

To fill a $2 billion budget shortfall his office identified in the House's state budget, Gov. Blagojevich announced a variety of controversial cuts this summer.  Much of the uproar has surrounded his spending reductions for substance abuse prevention and treatment centers.  ...

To fill a $2 billion budget shortfall his office identified in the House's state budget, Gov. Blagojevich announced a variety of controversial cuts this summer.  Much of the uproar has surrounded his spending reductions for substance abuse prevention and treatment centers.  But SEIU and area seniors are now taking up their own fight, aiming to block a new cut announced last week. This one would hit the Illinois Department of Aging’s Community Care Program and would delay payments for home care workers who provide essential services to 50,000 seniors each year. Sadie Kliner of SEIU Healthcare IL & IN explains over email:

Across-the-board cuts that could mean a 10-15% reduction in care for 1.5 many seniors are scheduled to hit Illinois seniors in less than a week, on Sept. 1st.

These cuts are devastating to seniors who are already struggling to get the care they need and fighting to stay in their homes and their communities. This has been an undeniably tough year, but we feel this is the wrong time for the state to cut vital services and the wrong way to deal with budget constraints.

Home care workers and seniors are simultaneously calling on legislators to pass supplemental funding and urging Blagojevich to reverse the cuts. Tomorrow at 3 pm, union members will protest alongside the Illinois AARP, the Jane Addams Seniors Caucus, Access Living, and others at the Thompson Center in Chicago.

(Full disclosure: SEIU Illinois sponsors this website)

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