Every year since 2008 , the Governor and the General Assembly have joined together in cutting funding for human services. This year is no exception. On the surface, it looks like an additional $337.6 million is directed to human services. The truth is that these funding levels simply make it possible for the State to pay back bills and replenish staff. It does not address increased need for service or rising costs for providers as they borrow money to pay staff and rent.

And this is a best case scenario.

The House Appropriations Committee for Human Services is contemplating cuts of over $200 million. When will this stop? When will the State live up to its promise of paying those who do the hard work of caring for the most vulnerable- those with disabilities and mental illness; those challenged by poverty and violence; those who have outlasted their savings as they aged in place?

Maria Socorro Pesqueira
Chairwoman of Illinois Partners for Human Service
CEO and President of Mujeres Latinas en Acción