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Human service groups plead for funding

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 15:18:03 CDT

Human service providers throughout Illinois say they are worried about the impact potential state budget cuts will have on those who need help. Testifying before a packed committee room at the Illinois Capitol, they spoke of concerns for the disabled, children and the elderly. Judith Gethner is the director of the Illinois Partners for Human Service. It's an organization that serves over 2 million residents. Gethner says the organization is looking at hefty reductions in staff and programs as a result of delayed payments from the state and other funding problems. She questioned the plan to close facilities and send disabled individuals into the community.

"How can you choose to cut funding to community based human services at the same time that you're re balancing people from State institutions to community care. Where do you think these people are going to go?"

Demand for services, like food stamps and child care for needy families, increases every year. But the Illinois officials say the state won't be seeing enough additional money to match those needs.They say the Governor's budget proposal for the coming fiscal year would be an overall cut of nearly $600 million for human services.

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