by Delores Jackson
Watching the debate around the budget unfold has me quite concerned. I am able to live at home thanks to home care services I receive through state programs. My home care worker is a blessing; she is my legs and my arms when I can’t do things. I count on her to prepare healthy meals, keep my home tidy, ensure I take my medications on time, and run errands that I can’t. These may sound like simple tasks, but I cannot do them without assistance.
I’ve heard that Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to significantly cut home care services starting July 1. People like me will have nowhere to turn if we lose access to our home care workers. We can’t afford to pay for these services out of pocket. Home care is my lifeline to independence, and it is for many other seniors and folks with disabilities too. Without our caregivers, some will be forced into nursing homes, and others will be at risk for injuries and medical emergencies.
From the Herald-Review:
As a local home care worker, I can say that I would certainly notice a state government shutdown. I am employed through the Department on Aging’s Community Care Program and I provide home care services for local seniors in Decatur. The state has informed the agency that I work for that they will be able to make payroll through June 30,but after that is another story without a budget deal reached. While I’m concerned about being paid, I’m even more concerned for the people I serve.
Gov. Rauner has proposed deep cuts to home care programs that could result in 50,000 seniors and people with disabilities losing their services after July 1. What does that mean for the people I serve? Many will have no choice but to consider nursing home care. These cuts will have long-term economic implications for our state because nursing home care can cost up to six times more than the services I provide in someone’s home.
Read more about the action from The Register-Mail:
GALESBURG — Child and home care providers along with the Service Employees International Union Illinois gathered for a prayer vigil and rally to speak out against cuts proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
SEIU hosted the event Monday night at New Home Missionary Baptist Church on First Street in the hopes of bringing real people’s stories to the table.
One of those people was Chrystal Lind, who had been using child care services after her the father of her children attacked her.
“In 2011 I was stabbed eight times by the kids’ father who took care of my kids and I was off work,” Lind said. “For me to go back to work I had to sit back and go, ‘Who is going to take care of my kids? How was I going to afford it? How was I going to pay my bills?’ So my caseworker set me up with child care and helped me to go back to work and put my kids in a safe place so I was able to go back to work.”
Lind said without those programs, she could have lost her job or worse, had her children in the care of the person who assaulted her.
“I don’t want anybody to go through what I had to go through, to choose your significant other who is abusive to watch your kids, so I prefer people to go through the system to get child care to make sure that they’re able to function, able keep their things and not go through what I had to go through,” Lind said.
If the Legislature and Rauner do not come up with a spending plan by Wednesday, cuts to Medicaid, home care and child care services will take effect, and would have an immediate impact on the families that utilize those programs.
JEFFERSON CO. — Vetoes from the Illinois Governor come as unions keep turning up the heat on the Governor to keep money coming for some of their pet programs.
That includes the so-called C-CAP, which pays daycares subsidies for children to give their parents a chance to join the workforce.
One Mount Vernon group got very vocal about it Thursday.
Children and adults gathered at one Mt. Vernon home daycare to make their case that daycare keeps families working and Illinois subsidies make it possible.
Without that money, children like 8-year-old Olivia might have to fend for themselves, or a parent could lose a job for lack of affordable child care.
“Every time they want to make a cut, they make it to the blue collar workers below the poverty line,” said Lisa Gladney of Mt. Vernon. “They don’t want to cut up there. They’re getting raises and bonuses and they just sit and make bad decisions for our lives.”
But those decisions come at a time when Illinois spent 66 percent more in the first half of this fiscal year on daycare than it did the year before. That’s over $224 million.
In his veto statement Thursday, Governor Rauner said, “For too long, the State of Illinois has made spending promises that exced available revenues…”
But these people want leaders in Springfield to feel their pain.
“I want the governor to know,” said Shirley Burns. “How would you like to be in our shoes for just one day?
Members and state officials heard testimony from residents and workers at the Addus Adult Day Center Evergreen Club in Mt. Vernon yesterday. Read the account of the visit that was printed in the Mt. Vernon Register-News where State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, pledged to “work towards the funding to keep places like this going” and promised to work hard to “bring both sides together and come back to the table (to) try to find the money.”
Adult day care facilities like Addus allows seniors and adults with disabilities to get the daily care they need so that they can live at home, a much less costly option than a full-time nursing home.
Read more from Mt. Vernon Register-News
From the Quad City Times:
SPRINGFIELD — Over the objections of Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups, Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving forward with a plan to limit the number of seniors and disabled people who qualify for state-paid in-home visits.
In a hearing at the Capitol on Tuesday, representatives of the Republican governor said the administration started the process to boost the threshold for the Community Care program. Officials filed paperwork last week, starting a 30-day review period.
Under the proposed changes, the minimum score to qualify for assistance would increase to 37 from 29. That score takes into account several factors to establish how well a person can live on his or her own.
Although it’s unclear how long the entire review process will take, the pending change drew scrutiny from lawmakers and recipients of the services of the program, which provides help with meal preparation, bathing and laundry.
Patricia Brown, a resident of Eagle Ridge Supportive Living in Decatur, said she moved into a mobile home park following her husband’s death.
Unruly neighbors frightened her and she became ill, until she found out she qualified for programs that would bring caregivers to her new home at Eagle Ridge.
“Now I have peace of mind. I feel very safe. I see my close friends daily,” the 88-year-old said. “I’m a success story of this program.”
Carol Aronson, director of the Shawnee Alliance For Seniors, said the change will affect an estimated 19,000 seniors and disabled people.
Currently, the average cost of in-home care for those people is about $396 per month. If they are forced into nursing homes, the cost to taxpayers will be about $2,900 per month.
“It’s a net loss to the state in dollars,” said Aronson, whose organization provides services in 18 southern Illinois counties.
State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, suggested that if half of the people affected by the change are moved into nursing homes, it could cost the state $150 million.
“Its going to cost us a lot more than it does now,” Harris said. “The solution costs us more and causes us more harm.”
On Monday, child care providers and their children rallied outside Daley Plaza for a living wage of $15 per hour. Using a blackboard to illustrate, Cynthia Brown offered a lesson to the children in attendance, showing how much additional income Chicago workers will receive with each planned boost to the minimum wage over the next few years.
“$10 will make a difference–that’s over $3,000 more a year for full-time minimum wage workers. And $13 will make a difference, too,” Brown said, “But the truth is that we need more than that to lift the city’s working families out of poverty–it will take $15. That’s the amount Raise Chicago demanded, that’s what 86% of voters called for in a ballot referendum.”
You can watch video of the action courtesy of Progress Illinois here:
Negative media coverage, critical commentary, polling all suggest that Rauner strategy’s a flop
In a week that saw Bruce Rauner and his wealthy allies finally follow through on threats to pour unprecedented amounts of money into an independent expenditure supporting his extreme legislative agenda, the reaction has been nothing short of an utter flop. In fact, this week saw a wave of stories suggesting that a) the dangerous cuts he’s demanding would devastate Illinois working families—especially our most vulnerable, and b) the only thing his campaign-style TV ads are likely to produce is a government shutdown.
Across Illinois, stories like this Monday piece on WCIA and this Thursday piece on WICS broadcast the voices of ordinary home healthcare and child care providers – and the families who depend on them – telling their personal stories of how dangerous and devastating the cuts Rauner is demanding would be. Newspaper columns and Letters to the Editor also poured in across the state, decrying Rauner’s tactics and his agenda—and demanding he get to the business of governing and stop the election-style campaign charades.
New polling also revealed that the public overwhelmingly opposes Rauner’s cuts to home healthcare and child care services, and that his demands for these cuts to vital services only exacerbate the majority perception that Rauner cares only about protecting the interests of big corporations and the very wealthy over doing what’s right for the rest of us. Huge majorities (73% & 68%)—including large pluralities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike—view Rauner’s cuts to home healthcare and child care unfavorably, which is only likely to get worse as the voices of these affected are heard.
And finally, as everyday Illinoisans continue to demand politicians end the partisan bickering and offer real solutions to the budget crisis, commentators and elected officials of every political stripe agreed that Rauner’s $1 million-per-week, scorched-earth TV blitz attacking his political opponents was only likely to force the very government shutdown he claims he wants to avoid.
For a guy who ran on his business record, this week represented a terrible return on Rauner’s investment as he tries to purchase support for something the public just isn’t buying.
The Member Education & Training Center has two FREE First Aid & CPR training classes coming to Metro East (offered in English) and Chicago (offered in Spanish) area on Saturday, June 27th.
Learn how to recognize and respond to cardiac arrest, breathing and first aid emergencies. You will receive your certification right after the completion of the class. This is a wonderful opportunity for both Licensed Child care Providers and Exempt Child care Providers.
Spots are limited and registration is required! For more information or to register, please call our Member Resource Center at 866-933-7348. Se Habla Español!