Some 300 Illinois nonprofits and the Responsible Budget Coalition delivered a letter Tuesday to Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders, urging them to "work together to pass a fair, adequate and fully-funded" budget before the new fiscal year starts on Wednesday.
In the letter, the nonprofits expressed concern over the budget uncertainty and warned of possible layoffs and service reductions if a state spending plan is not adopted by Wednesday.
"With July 1st quickly approaching and no state budget in place, nonprofit organizations and their boards of directors are wrestling with uncertainty. Lacking direction from state agencies, nonprofits have no idea how much state funding they can expect or when that funding might begin," the letter reads. "As a result, nonprofits across the state have no choice but to contemplate and, in some cases execute, plans to terminate services, lay off staff, and close service sites. Organizations, their staff, and the families and communities they serve will absorb the costs of these actions. These are the same organizations that have for decades worked on the state's behalf to ensure the availability of these services. If the state defaults on its responsibility to provide nonprofits with some level of fiscal certainty and adequate funding so that they can operate using sound business practices, we all pay the price in the short- and long-term."
Rauner and Democratic leaders remain at odds over a budget for the 2016 fiscal year. State legislative leaders and the governor met Monday, but they were unable come to a deal.
The government will begin to shutdown Wednesday if a new budget is not in place. In the Illinois House, lawmakers will be gathering for a two-day Committee of the Whole meeting starting Tuesday to discuss agency preparations in the event of a state government shutdown.
"The governor and the General Assembly can either choose gridlock or they can choose revenue," John Bouman, president of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, a Responsible Budget Coalition member, said in a statement. "If they choose gridlock they are choosing to eliminate jobs and cut vital services for families and communities. They must choose revenue before serious harm is done to our families, communities and the economy."