State Budget Preview: Further Cuts to Safety Net on the Horizon

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Governor_Pat_Quinn[1]Illinois' economic vitality and the strength of our communities depend on a well-managed and well-maintained network of nonprofit services. While the details of Governor Quinn's fiscal year 2013 budget won't be released until his budget address on February 22, an analysis from Voices for Illinois Children's Fiscal Policy Center estimates that cuts to human services represents 60 percent of the Governor’s total cuts of $574 million. These cuts are being justified as a necessary response to weak projected revenue growth and skyrocketing pension liabilities.These cuts will likely add an extraordinary burden to the already hollowed out social safety net.

The analysis projects that human services (including funding for the Department of Human Services, Department of Children and Family Services, Department on Aging, and several smaller agencies) will bear the brunt of the state’s total budget cuts. The $350 million reduction translates into programmatic cuts of about 10 percent (excluding programs funded by Medicaid dollars); these eliminations are on top of FY12’s 12.8 percent reduction in programs and operations. To see this from a long-term perspective, from FY09 to FY12 addiction treatment was reduced by 69%; youth services by 41%; and mental health grants by 36%. 

While cuts may be inevitable in order for Illinois to get back on track, Donors Forum will be in Springfield on February 22 for the Governor’s budget address and will continue to advocate for a budget that reflects the will of the people of Illinois and best serves our sector and our communities.

~Hannah White, Public Policy Coordinator

 image source via wikimedia commons