Once again, we head into state budget season. Governor Rauner’s Budget Address is all over the news. What would his proposed budget mean for SU? Somewhat surprisingly, in a kind-of-a-good way, our rates for day program and residential were not cut. The chart below demonstrates that not being cut is not all it’s cracked up to be after over a decade, especially when the Workshop Grant was completely eliminated as well. The people we serve will be negatively impacted by the Medicaid cuts, and for those who live in our homes, SU will have to make up the difference, so that is a cut of a sort.
What happens next? The House and Senate will work on developing their own budgets. Given that we have a new Governor of a different party, it’s hard to predict how things are going to progress or end up. We need to make it through this not just with “no cuts” but with an increase to raise the wages of our direct care staff and cover the cost of things getting more expensive. We also want to make certain that if there are any increases in minimum wage, we are given increased funding to deal with that.
We’re not unrealistic about Illinois’ finances, but we are also providing critical services. We will see how things go.