Rauner_pic_999x690.jpg

Gov. Bruce Rauner. (A file photo

Facing shortfall, Rauner suspends $26 million in state health, social services grants

SHARE Facing shortfall, Rauner suspends $26 million in state health, social services grants
SHARE Facing shortfall, Rauner suspends $26 million in state health, social services grants

Gov. Bruce Rauner has suspended $26 million in social services and public health grants as part of his push to whittle away at a $1.6 billion shortfall in the current state budget.

The Republican’s office released a list of targeted programs late Friday that included funding to pay for the funerals and burials of public-assistance recipients, smoking cessation, teen programs, autism and HIV and AIDS programs, among other things.

Rauner also froze $3.4 million in funding for immigrant integration assistance as part of ongoing efforts to keep the state rolling through the June 30 end of the budget year.

He also interrupted $180 million in parkland grants in March.

Rauner’s office said the check-writing halt was needed because the expenditures were based on the assumption that a temporary income tax would be extended past January, but it wasn’t, after Rauner won the election.

“Part of the solution to solving the inherited $1.6 billion budget hole without raising taxes or increasing borrowing is to continue to evaluate the current fiscal year’s budget,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said. “The governor’s office worked with agencies to see which grants could be suspended and prioritized essential services.”

The cuts will save the state $21.8 million in Department of Human Services Grants and $4.5 million in unexpended funding through the Department of Public Health and the suspensions affect only this yearís funding, Kelly said.

But there’s always another price — this one paid for by constituents who, as soon as Monday morning, will be told — by closed doors — there’s no more money to help them.

Breandan Magee, senior director of programs for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said dozens of organizations assisted 102,000 legal immigrants in 2014 with applications for citizenship, English as a Second Language classes and health and nutrition programs for low-income immigrants.

“There are 299 jobs across 60 different immigrant-services agencies at risk” with funding ceasing, Magee said Saturday. “There are workshops scheduled for citizenship, applications for citizenship pending, ESL classes hallway through.”

Immigrant integration programs — which Rauner proposed eliminating entirely in the 2016 budget — will forfeit nearly half of their $6.7 million budget, according to figures provided by the governor’s office. Magee said he hopes the state will cover expenses he’s already incurred.

A copy of Friday’s letter from Human Services notifies the recipient to “immediately cease incurring additional obligations, costs or spending any further grant funds.” Agencies must submit records of all spending for the year.

Jimi Orange of Children’s Home and Aid faces the unenviable task of telling up to 25 of the 100 children in Chicago’s impoverished West Englewood neighborhood they can’t come to Earle Elementary School for after-class tutoring and cultural activities because the state has recalled the remaining $3.1 million of Teen REACH money for kids ages 7 to 17.

“The staff’s concern is how to tell the families? What to tell the kids? How to tell the kids?” Orange said. “These are kids who already have abandonment issues, trust issues.”

A LOOK AT THE CUTS

The following are the grants suspended by Gov. Bruce Rauner to trim the state’s budget deficit:

Department of Human Services

Funeral & Burial, $6.9 million

Immigrant Integration Services, $3.4 million

Welcoming Centers, $191,300

ARC Lifespan, $118,100

Best Buddies, $250,000

Autism, $1 million

Group Home Loans, $20,000

Compulsive Gambling, $406,000

Westside Health, $94,200

Addiction Prevention, $1.6 million

Assistance for Homeless, $300,000

Community Services, $2 million

Teen REACH, $3.1 million

Coalition F/Tech Assist-Child, $250,000

For Childrenís Health Program, $231,600

Outreach to Individuals to Engage in Services, $380,700

Regions Special Consumer Support, $277,700

SMRF Training, $420,100

Transportation, $43,900

DD Latino Outreach, $87,500

Microboard Development and Outreach, $47,500

Epilepsy, $514,700

DHS TOTAL: $21.8 million

Department of Natural Resources

Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS, $789,800

Increasing Access to Health Care-Wellness on Wheels, $180,000

Wellness on Wheels – Mobile Administration 2015, $135,000

Illinois Tobacco Quitline, $3.1 million

Project Safe Sleep Education and Outreach, $250,000

MidAmerica Regional Public Health Leadership Institute, $75,000

IDPH TOTAL: $4.5 million

Department of Natural Resources (suspended in March)

Park and Recreational Facility Construction, $89.5 million

Open Space Lands Acqusition and Development, $56.3 million

Museum Capital Grants, $30.4 million

Bike Paths, Mud-to-Parks, others, $2.6 million

IDNR TOTAL: $178.8 million

Sources: Office of the Governor, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The Latest
Irvin is a good in-person politician, a side of him that many in the Chicago area haven’t gotten to see so far. A “Meet Richard” tab on his campaign website features photos, his biography and an option to contribute to his campaign, but no information about public events.
This is the first time a chick hatched in Chicago has come back, said Tamima Itani, vice president and treasurer of the Illinois Ornithological Society.
Lefty Wade Miley spent two seasons with the Reds, before the Cubs claimed him off waivers this winter.
At 13.81 so far in 2022, Sox’ Cease is on pace to break his own franchise mark for strikeouts per nine innings.
The new agreement was signed after CPS explored ditching Aramark, its food vendor for years. Open Kitchens, based in Pilsen, is also a part of the contract and will serve 187 sites.