With the end of the legislative session one month away, the Illinois General Assembly is gearing up for a number of critical votes, including the 2013 Fiscal Year budget, a plan to revamp the public employee pension system, and a proposal to cut Medicaid by $2.7 billion — all aimed at stabilizing Illinois' increasingly perilous fiscal situation. Ensuring our state's budget is fiscally and socially sustainable for the long haul requires a comprehensive solution that draws upon the proven effectiveness of nonprofits to deliver public services and ensure that partnership with the state are well-managed.
The outcomes of the debates over Medicaid spending, pensions, and the state budget have both direct and indirect impacts on the health, effectiveness, and sustainability of Illinois' nonprofit sector and its partnership with state government. There is no easy solution, but with so much at stake, it is imperative that nonprofits be involved in the budget process. The nonprofit sector, as providers of critical services on behalf of government and the "boots on the ground" in communities across Illinois, has a shared interest as well as a mutual responsibility to craft a bipartisan plan that addresses the public's priorities as cost-effectively as possible. Lawmakers and partners from the nonprofit and private sectors must work together to develop a responsive, stable, fair, and diversified solution that would provide immediate relief to cash-strapped nonprofits who await billions from the State in unpaid bills and long-term plan to ensure a prosperous future for all Illinoisans.
~Donors Forum Public Policy Team
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