By Scott Thomas
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager
"We save lives, because people can come to us when they are fleeing a terrifying situation and then we give them the tools that they need to heal and move on."
--Cathy McClanahan, Executive Director of The Women's Center in Southern Illinois.
Since 1972, the Women's Center has been a regional institution, one of the first domestic violence shelters in the country. For 45 years, the center has helped women and families in their darkest times. Nearly 1,500 survivors turned to the center for help in the past year. But soon these women, many mothers and their children, may not have anywhere to go.
The Women's center normally receives state funding to operate its domestic violence and rape crisis programs. But without a budget, that funding has stopped. The shelter has had to resort to extraordinary measures to keep the doors open; layoffs and furloughs, cashing in all of its savings. If the state fails to pass a budget, this life-changing shelter will be forced to close its doors in October. And then where are the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in Southern Illinois supposed to go?
This entire situation makes me sick. I cannot believe our lawmakers are letting politics get in the way of supporting women and children when they need it most. Our senators and representatives have less than a week to pass a budget or they will fail all of us. They will leave organizations like the Women's Center in certain peril. Call the Governor's office. Call your lawmakers. Call House Speaker Mike Madigan. Urge them to get their act together and pass a budget. This has gone on long enough.
I'm Scott Thomas and that's our ViewPoint.
Governor Bruce Rauner - 217-782-0244
House Speaker Michael Madigan - 217-782-5350
Click here for a list of the Illinois General Assembly members