For the last 11 months, Centerstone has, in good faith, offered services we were contracted to provide by the state of Illinois, but because our state officials have not passed a budget, we have not been paid for these services. Today, our state owes Centerstone more than $6 million.
We, along with other organizations, have warned public officials for months that we could not sustain the losses the state was imposing on us, but our concerns have been ignored.
With no end to this contract crisis in sight, the viability of our entire organization is being threatened. So, after careful review of the situation, we are enacting difficult measures to protect Centerstone, our 600 employees across the state and the 16,000 people of all ages who depend on us.
In the coming fiscal year, we will eliminate several state contracts because of the risk involved. These contracts represent vital services in our communities, but we cannot sustain them in such uncertain times. This means, as of June 30, the following services will close:
• Comprehensive Community Based Youth services in Franklin, Jackson, Perry and Williamson counties;
• Crisis Stabilization services at the Centerstone Crisis Center in Williamson County, a service which has saved our state more than $4 million in health care costs;
• DMH Juvenile Justice services in Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson and Williamson counties;
• Homeless Youth services in Franklin, Jackson, Perry and Williamson counties;
• Psychiatric Medication funds used in Calhoun, Franklin, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, and Williamson counties;
• Supported Residential services (one group home) in Alton; and
• Teen Pregnancy Prevention services in Franklin County.
Additionally, Halfway House beds in Marion will be reduced.
A total of 700 clients and 39 staff members will be affected by these changes. The loss of our colleagues and services is painful, but our state has offered us little choice.
It is our sincere hope that our governor and legislature finally do the right thing and act in the best interests of all of their constituents by ending this state budget crisis.
I, Obama, as president, swear to defend these United States. How can this man add any validity to this statement when he will not even use the term “radical Islam?” This guy would call a drug dealer an “unlicensed pharmacist.” He first called ISIS a JV team and claimed that he had them contained. What a stupid statement! How has he got them contained?
Under his watch there have been 44 attacks here in America. The one that really upsets me is the shooting at Fort Hood a couple years ago when this Army major jumps up on a table, claims his allegiance to ISIS, yells Allah Akbar and kills 16 soldiers. Obama called it “workplace violence.”
In Orlando last week Omar Mateen, who had been under FBI watch and questioned three times, killed (as of now) 49 people and injured many others. This terrorist called 911 and claimed allegiance to ISIS before going to the gay nightclub. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack and ISIS leaders had called for attacks like these around the world during the holy month of Ramadan, which began June 6.
Obama has said that his administration is looking for a motive … this is insane! Obama and the mainstream media are blaming everything on guns and his lack of their control. Terrorists have used bombs, fertilizer, box cutters, airplanes, etc. If gun control was the answer, Chicago, which has the strictest gun control in America, would be like Mayberry.
Political partisanship and the old blame-game style of politics practiced by Gov. Bruce Rauner are moving this state backward. People are sick of the blame game and want solutions.
I am an unapologetic Democrat who is always looking for solutions in the midst of the turmoil that is Illinois state government. We have a wonderful state, full of economic and business opportunities as evidenced by the many businesses that invest and thrive here in Illinois.
But what’s not thriving is our state government. We all know that, and we know there is blame to go around. But I would remind everyone that the Democratic House and Senate leadership have worked well with several Republican governors in the past and learned to compromise with them over the years.
What’s different now? We have Governor Rauner and his “my way or the highway”’ approach to governing.
Like Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner tries to dictate without compromise. Like Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner hasn’t figured out that compromise is the key to good government.
Governor Rauner is holding the budget hostage for his Turnaround Agenda, the basics of which ask Democratic legislators to abandon what they believe in and who they are. We will never do that because his request is unreasonable and asks too much of those with the least to give.
Bruce Rauner wants Democrats to cut living wages that provide the working class a chance to get ahead. We Democrats stand on our values of making sure seniors and the disabled are living with dignity with adequate home care. We care about offering a helping hand to provide a path from poverty to opportunity. We believe there is a fundamental right for workers to organize and collectively bargain for their wages and working conditions.
Former Republican Governor Jim Edgar continues to offer Governor Rauner advice: pass a budget, quit trying to tie your Turnaround Agenda to the budget; no other governor has tried to do that. But, true to form, and just like Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner won’t listen to anyone — not even Jim Edgar.
Governor Rauner: Stop the finger pointing and the blame game and do your job. Help the General Assembly pass a budget that isn’t tied to your Turnaround Agenda. Get that budget passed for the good people of Illinois.
Quit playing politics with education. Quit playing politics with health care for seniors, child care for children, child abuse prevention dollars for the nonprofits and countless other social services that have been hurt because of your Turnaround Agenda.
It’s time to make Illinois work again.
Rock Island County Democratic chairman and president of the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association