Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails must exist somewhere. Don’t the FBI, CIA, NSA or Homeland Security have them? If they won’t fess up, what about our allies, such as the Germans, British or Israelis? If that doesn’t work, maybe we can pull some strings with the Chinese or Koreans. They seem to have infiltrated everything. Come on now. Actually, I’m fairly certain there are multiple copies of Hillary Clinton’s emails somewhere.
Thomas Cechner, Lockport
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State social services cuts wrong for people, wrong for budget
The Illinois legislative session is underway and lawmakers must approve a state budget on behalf of the people of Illinois by May 31. It’s no easy feat — making decisions affecting 12.8 million Illinoisans.
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) urges lawmakers to consider how their decisions affect at-risk state residents. It’s the right thing to do and it brings real time returns for Illinois.
Annually, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois cares for one in every 176 residents in Illinois — 73,000 people, from birth to end of life. We serve people with disabilities, senior adults, and children and families. Our clients are the state’s most vulnerable: 80 percent report an annual household income under $15,000. A few examples*:
- “Emily,” 26, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in her early 20s as a college student leading an independent life. A lack of access and coordination of mental health services resulted in her admission to a nursing home. She was isolated among much older residents and her physical health declined. An LSSI referral for coordinated mental health services helped Emily’s life take a positive turn. She’s living independently, ready to return to school. The cost of psychiatric services with a housing subsidy is only $21,693 a year, compared with $62,050* paid annually for nursing home care.
- “Anna” struggled with appropriate discipline for her five children and found help with LSSI Intact Family Services, which works with families to prevent their children’s placement into foster care. Caseworkers work intensively with parents in ways that keep families together. Children avoid the upheaval and trauma that foster care placement brings. It’s the right thing to do, and it costs $7,200 per family for six months of Intact Family Services compared with $35,000 for six months of foster care for five children.
- “Steven,” 73, lost the use of his legs from diabetes and needs assistance getting out of bed as well as other daily living activities. LSSI’s Intouch Services offers an alternative for living in a nursing home. Home care workers come to his house, assisting with light housekeeping, meals, and personal hygiene. These services provide seniors on limited incomes an option to age in place, maintaining independence and dignity. It’s the right thing to do — and costs $17,825 for Steven to live at home—a significant savings compared with $62,050 annually to live in a nursing home.
Our programs are the right thing to do — they also yield savings this year, in real time.
Making cuts to programs like those serving Emily, Anna’s family, and Steven result in short-term budget adjustments that bring long-term problems. We urge the Illinois Legislature to keep the needs of our at-risk residents a budget priority when making this year’s decisions.
* Costs for LSSI services based on actual clients; Nursing home costs based on analysis by the Supportive Housing Providers Association.
Mark A. Stutrud is CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), a faith-based provider of social services statewide.
Cut legislative pensions first
Tuesday’s editorial compares plans by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and mayoral candidate “Chuy” Garcia to solve the city’s crisis of underfunded pensions. One pension not mentioned is that of elected officials. They get a pension for a minimum of eight years of service. Eight years? Are you serious? This pension should be eliminated, period. It is bad enough our politicians are overpaid.
Donald J. Lazo, Gage Park