From AP - News Headlines -

Agencies Brace for Cuts in State Budget

State agencies and organizations are waiting for details on next year's Illinois state budget, which Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign on Wednesday or Thursday. A group representing people with disabilities is bracing for the possibility its programs will take a hit.

The Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities is worried the governor will slash funding for home and community care programs.

Tyler McHaley says he's enrolled in the home services program. He fears cutbacks will mean he...as well as other people with developmental disabilities ... will get less help.

"The cuts will mean fewer hours in terms of having meals prepared for us, to go outside the home, for laundry....all the things that everyone takes for granted are being cut for us,", says McHaley.

McHaley says it could also mean providers may lose their jobs.

Nellie Logan is a home care assistant for the elderly in Springfield. She says she stops by elderly and disabled people's homes to help out with laundry and dishes.

"They're not going to be able to stay and be able to function as they need to be, as they want to be," says Logan. "And if these people have to go into nursing homes, it's going to cost the state a hell of a lot more than paying me to come help these people."

Logan says she doesn't think she'll lose her job because of job cuts ... but says lawmakers need to understand ... that people...many of whom can't live on their own ...are at the mercy of state government.

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, which oversees the programs, didn't want to comment on any possible cuts and says the agency is waiting to hear from the Governor.

Governor Quinn plans to discuss his budget plans during a 10:30 AM Chicago news conference on Thursday. Quinn has said he'll try to protect education, public safety and human services as much as possible. But he says because the General Assembly failed to approve new revenues, he has no choice but to cut the budget.

Categories: Government, Politics