Southern IL lawmakers discuss budget concerns

Southern IL lawmakers discuss budget concerns

HERRIN, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois lawmakers gathered in Herrin on Monday afternoon to discuss Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget proposal.

State Reps., John Bradley, D-Marion, Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, and state Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, talked about how Governor Bruce Rauner's budget proposal could affect certain facilities and programs throughout the area, one being nursing home services.

A spokeswoman for the Health Care Council of Illinois stated quality services such as restaurant style meals, outdoor activities and possible layoffs could occur. Wanda Clark, a nursing home resident said employees are the ones who keep her going.

"These people that are called to do this for the senior citizens," Clark said. "They have a purpose, they have a heart. And that's what nobody has the right to take."

The Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless, is one that may have to close its doors if a budget agreement isn't in place by July 1, due to a possible elimination in homeless supportive services.

It's a place that Jennifer Trexler said helped her and get back on her feet when she was homeless two years ago.

"It's just been life changing for us. We're very thrilled that we can actually have a place that's called home," Trexler said. "And like I said, if they get shut down, and they don't get the help, like they're helping us, it will hurt a lot of people."

Gov. Rauner's office did state that Illinois is facing a $6 billion hole because of the insider deals and overspending by Speaker Madigan and the politicians who follow him, and without structural reforms, difficult choices have to be made. 

While some services were discontinued, Gov. Rauner's office stated that the budget contains more than $15 million dollars for services specifically designed to help the homeless, which includes $3 million to prevent homelessness, in addition to Medicaid and other assistance programs.

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