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Illinois Department of Human Services


PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Mar 16, 2015

Illinoisans Speak Out Against Rauner's Proposed Human Services Budget Cuts

A few hundred Illinoisans attended a state Senate appropriations hearing in Chicago on Monday to discuss Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts to Department of Human Services programs. Here's a breakdown of what happened at the hearing and what some audience members have to say about the governor's fiscal plan.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Mar 4, 2015

Advocates To Rauner: Reconsider 'Devastating' Budget Cuts To Immigrant Services (VIDEO)

Illinois immigrant advocates are stressing the importance of programs funded through the state's Immigrant Services Line Item (ISLI), which Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to eliminate entirely as part of his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

At a Chicago press conference Wednesday, leaders with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) released a new report by the group, showing that the line item's elimination could have "devastating effects" on immigrants, service providers and the state's economy.

"We understand the weight of what's going on down in Springfield around the state budget. We know that there are not going to be any easy fixes to this. It's going to require a combination of revenue enhancements, smart investments but also responsible cuts," said ICIRR CEO Lawrence Benito. "Cutting investments which provide five-fold returns is no way to solve a state's problems. It will only exacerbate them. It's pennywise and pound foolish. And so our message to the governor and the General Assembly today is: Latino and immigrant communities are essential to Illinois and moving our economy forward." 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Apr 15, 2014

Illinois Social Service Providers Brace For A 'Tough' Budgetary Year

The philanthropic and non-profit community in Illinois is bracing itself for what is expected to be a "painful" budgetary year.

"It's going to be tough," said Valerie Lies, president and CEO of the Donors Forum, a member association working to strengthen the state's philanthropic and non-profit sector. "I feel like we haven't even started to dig ourselves out, and I think [this] gubernatorial election will be an important one."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Feb 24, 2014

Chicago-Area Residents Urge State Lawmakers To Address Social Service 'Crisis' In Illinois

The health and human services system in Illinois is in "crisis," according to Chicago-area residents who pressed state lawmakers at a public forum Friday night to address problems facing social safety net programs.

At the forum held at St. Ita's Church in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, residents provided personal testimony on a number of issues, including understaffed Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) offices and inadequate wages paid to frontline service workers, to name a few.

A coalition of labor and community groups hosted the event, including Alliance for the Community Services, AFSCME Local 2858, IMPRUVE, Northside Action For Justice and SEIU* Local 73.

The coalition specifically wants a wage bump for direct service professionals, more assigned caseworkers in DHS offices and the restoration of Medicaid prescription drug and dental benefits.

State lawmakers in attendance, including Chicago Democrats State Sen. Heather Steans and State Reps. Kelly Cassidy and Greg Harris, all pledged to help bring change and increased funding to Illinois' health and human services system. But the first order of business, the elected officials said, is addressing the state's revenue dilemma.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Nov 4, 2013

Report: Investments In Education During A Child's First 8 Years Of Life Crucial To Academic, Overall Success

A new national report argues that high-quality, early childhood programs that target the first eight years of a child's life, and include supports for parents lead to better success in school and adulthood. 

To help make its case, the report issued Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation highlighted a recent analysis of the Early Childhood Longitudinal study, which found just 36 percent of third graders had developed age-appropriate cognitive knowledge and skills. The longitudinal study started tracking 13,000 children who were enrolled in kindergarten during the 1998-1999 school year.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri Aug 16, 2013

Disability Rights Advocates Demand A Say In Changes To IL Home Services Program (VIDEO)

Roughly 10 years ago, Fran Madnick spent four years in a nursing home. She said “it was not living”, adding that she would rather live on the street than go back.

“I am a consumer for personal assistance ... PA’s are an extension of my life,” said the 67 year-old retired teacher who, because of fibromyalgia and almost 100 percent vision loss in both eyes, qualifies for five hours of home care every day.

Madnick relies on Medicaid to pay for her personal assistance (PA). According to Madnick, the health care professionals help her with everything from laundry and cleaning, to grocery shopping and trips to the city. She says home care allows her to be independent because she isn’t forced to abide by a nursing home’s schedule.

“If I didn’t have them I wouldn’t be able to be here today, I wouldn’t be able to be a mother or a grandmother,” she said. “If they cut back my hours, that’s one thing, but if they cut me out of the program itself ... That could mean I’d have to go back to the nursing home, and I refuse.”