June 2015

Watch: Home care worker and consumer share how Rauner’s cuts will affect them

ABC-20 in Springfield interviews home care worker Kevin Holmes and his consumer Jeff Schumacher about Gov Rauner’s deep cuts to vital services like home care and how the cuts would affect Jeff’s life and Kevin’s ability to help.

Watch:

Take action here to tell your legislators and the Governor to #ChooseRevenue.

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SEIU Healthcare IL Launches New Ad: “Wrong Priorities”

A new ad released by SEIU Healthcare Illinois features testimony from individuals who will be harmed by the dangerous budget cuts being demanded by Gov. Bruce Rauner, as well as caregivers and family members who will face the heartbreaking consequences of his misplaced priorities.

Since recent polling has shown overwhelming disapproval for the dangerous cuts Bruce Rauner is demanding to critical services like child care and home healthcare, Rauner and his unlimited money machine have decided to play the only card they know—a huge cash dump into dishonest campaign-style ads.

The Chicago Sun-Times has further details here.

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Poll: Voters strongly oppose Rauner’s home care and child care cuts

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Overview

Our recent survey of 1,051 voters in Illinois shows that there is an overwhelmingly negative reaction to Bruce Rauner’s proposed cuts to state home-care and child- care programs. Opposition to Rauner’s cuts crosses party lines, suggesting that legislators who back his cuts would be put in significant jeopardy regardless of the party composition of their districts.

Rauner already has deep vulnerabilities with Illinois voters because he is perceived to be more interested in doing what’s best for the wealthy and big corporations than in doing what’s best for average people in the state. Rauner’s proposed cuts to home care and child care exacerbate these vulnerabilities, as do his efforts to undercut the workers who provide these services. The survey results show that by a lopsided margin Illinois voters are more likely to side with home-care and child- care providers than with Governor Rauner in a major policy disagreement.

Key Findings

1. There is strong opposition across party lines when voters hear about Bruce Rauner’s proposed cuts to state home-care and child-care programs.

Fully 73% of all voters in Illinois say they would have an unfavorable reaction if they heard that Governor Rauner wants to make large cuts in state government funding for in-home assistance for seniors and people with disabilities, including 53% who are very unfavorable. Similarly, 68% react unfavorably upon hearing that Governor Rauner wants to make major cuts in government support for child care, including 47% who are very unfavorable.

Large pluralities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans react unfavorably to Rauner’s proposed cuts to home-care and child-care programs.

Rauner’s proposed cuts to home care and child care are unpopular even among those who recall voting for him last year. Rauner voters are unfavorable to his home-care cuts by 51% to 20%, and are unfavorable to his child-care cuts by 46% to 26%.

Negative reactions to Governor Rauner’s policies extend to his contract proposals for home-care and child-care providers.

      74% are unfavorable to his proposal to cut or totally eliminate health insurance for home-care and child-care providers.
      74% are unfavorable to his proposal to eliminate reimbursement for equipment, protective garments, and supplies (including latex gloves) for home-care providers.
      73% are unfavorable to his proposal to eliminate training and professional development for home-care and child-care providers.
      62% are unfavorable to his proposals to freeze the pay for home-care and child-care workers.

2. Illinois voters already are skeptical about Bruce Rauner when it comes to caring about people like them or understanding the challenges of working-class families, and the plurality say he is more interested in the wealthy and big corporations than in what’s best for average people. These negative perceptions create a significant vulnerability for Rauner in the debate on home care and child care.

Just 40% of voters in Illinois have confidence in Bruce Rauner when it comes to looking out for the middle class, while 50% have doubts about him.

Similarly, by 50% to 41%, voters express doubts about him on “caring about people like you.” Rauner especially lacks credibility with voters on understanding the challenges faced by low-wage workers and working-class families, with 58% expressing doubts about him.

When asked which matters more to Bruce Rauner, only 31% say his priority is doing what’s best for average people in Illinois, while 46% say he is more interested in doing what’s best for the wealthy and big corporations.

3. Voters in Illinois have positive feelings about home-care and child-care providers. In a fight between these providers and Governor Rauner, voters in Illinois side with home-care and child-care providers by a margin of close to three to one. Voters support the right of home-care and child-care workers to have a union, and they react unfavorably to aspects of Rauner’s contract proposals that would weaken the union.

Fully 75% of Illinois voters report having a positive opinion of child-care providers, and 72% are similarly positive to home-care providers. In a dispute between Governor Rauner and home-care and child-care providers, only 21% of voters say they would side with Rauner, while 61% say they would side with the home-care and child-care workers.

By 60% to 29%, voters support home-care and child-care providers being represented by a union to negotiate with the state on issues involving pay, benefits, working conditions, and training. Sixty percent (60%) of voters react unfavorably (including 45% who are very unfavorable) when they hear that Governor Rauner wants to weaken the union that represents home-care and child-care providers, and 66% are unfavorable when they hear that he wants to stop home-care and child- care providers from joining together to have a voice at work.

Voters are not persuaded by a defense that Rauner’s proposals are necessary because the state budget is “out of control” and that average taxpayers will end up paying the price “if we don’t take action now to hold the line on excessive union contracts.” Surprisingly, 60% say this line of argument makes them no more likely at all to support Governor Rauner’s proposals.

Given these results, it is safe to assume that voters across Illinois want their state legislators to stand with home-care and child-care providers instead of Bruce Rauner, and that those legislators who instead align themselves with Rauner’s unpopular policies would be creating significant political jeopardy for themselves.

The results in this memo are based on telephone interviews with 1,051 likely voters in the 2016 elections in Illinois. The interviews were conducted from June 2 to 7, 2015, and the statewide sample provides a representative cross section of the Illinois electorate.

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Decatur care providers and lawmakers denounce Rauner budget cuts

Decatur home care and child care workers, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and lawmakers stood together on Monday to denounce the Governor’s deep cuts to vital services.

Watch coverage of the rally, courtesy of WCIA CBS 2:

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Unprecedented Power Grab: Rauner’s Plan to Buy the Legislature

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Since Bruce Rauner and his wealthy friends bought the governor’s mansion, they’ve realized that rolling over the working families of Illinois isn’t as easy as vulture capitalism. Demanding draconian cuts to critical services that would devastate hundreds of thousands of Illinois families, their agenda has hit a brick wall — in the legislature and in the eyes of the public.

Rauner’s solution? Buy the legislature. And they’re not even being subtle about it. From the Sun-Times’ Natasha Korecki:

One potential candidate, Rob Meister of Champaign, told a newspaper Rauner met with him and made a pitch and a pledge. “He told me very specifically that he has $20 million and that he’s working to do a million for 20 races that he thinks are the most winnable.” … The idea is to plow an unprecedented amount of money — $1 million per race — into targeted legislative races to rid the Democrats of their veto-proof majority.

It’s just one more reason to keep the focus on saving vital services. Keep calling, writing, and visiting the Governor and your legislators to demand #NoCuts! 

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Bruce Rauner’s $2 million donor

The State Journal-Register is reporting that Governor Rauner took a $2 million donation from a wealthy supporter in apparent violation of state campaign finance laws governing firms that do business with the state. Rauner claims that he hasn’t taken money “from folks who do business with the state.”

This article seems to contradict that assertion.

Read the full article from The State Journal-Register.

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Governor Rauner tries to buy support for service cuts

17357797721_a1a7ccbb13_b Governor Bruce Rauner has shown  he’s willing to blame state Democrats for deep service cuts. In fact, this devastating plan is all his. This includes huge cuts to child care and home care and cuts to Medicaid that could shutter community hospitals serving low-income populations.

And while he wants to slash the budget at the Department of Human Services (among others), he still found a quarter of a million dollars from that department’s budget to pay his education czar more than twice the salary of her predecessor.

Now, in a Think Progress article detailing Rauner’s use of his wealth to solidify his political power, more light has been shed on the fact that he doled out $400,000 in contributions, cutting checks to every Republican in the General Assembly, “just weeks before a crucial May 31 budget deadline.” Rauner’s generosity also has been reported by Capitol Fax.

Interesting timing.

Are you “pro” this quid?

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Governor Rauner confronted by child care workers

At a press event in Decatur yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner was confronted by two child care workers furious at the Governor’s proposed cuts to child care and a number of other vital services.

Child care worker Annie Yarbary tells Governor Rauner to pass a fair and responsible budget.

Child care worker Annie Yarbary tells Governor Rauner to pass a fair and responsible budget.

Child care workers Annie Yarbary and Laquasha McAfee demanded to know why the Governor wants to balance the budget on the backs of working families, children, seniors, and those with disabilities.

The Govenor’s response? Blame the legislature for his own plan.

Watch Governor Rauner pass the buck:

Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Laquasha confronts the Governor: Take action against the Governor’s budget plan and stand up for working families here.

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Bruce Rauner and price-gouging the uninsured

See the full list of price-gouging hospitals from Washington Post.

See the full list of price-gouging hospitals from Washington Post.

The Washington Post released a report detailing the top fifty hospitals in the nation that routinely charge uninsured patients more than ten times the actual cost of treatment.

On the list is National Park Medical Center, part of Capella Healthcare’s network of hospitals. One of Capella’s top investors is GTCR Golder Rauner LLC, Bruce Rauner’s investment firm.

That means that as Governor Rauner proposes deep service cuts to vital service, he’s turning a profit by over-charging uninsured Americans when they have to go to the hospital. That ain’t right.

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Seniors rally outside Governor Rauner’s Chicago office to stop cuts to home care services

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Community Leaders Demand that Rauner Pass a Responsible and Fair Budget to Avoid a Government Shutdown

Chicago – Seniors joined community leaders and working families at a rally today at the State of Illinois Thompson Center to call on Gov. Bruce Rauner to pass a “fair and responsible budget” to protect vital home care services for seniors and adults with disabilities.

Advocates held signs and chanted “Rauner’s Cuts Hurt Seniors” as they unveiled “senior survival kits” to highlight the risks to seniors from falling and being left without their home care provider.  If Rauner refuses to sign the state’s budget by July 1st it will cause the state government to shutdown which will cause enormous hardships for working families all across Illinois, including seniors.   Seniors and community leaders called on Gov. Rauner to approve the state budget on his desk and to work constructively with legislative leaders to raise new revenue to protect and expand vital programs, such the Community Care Program for seniors and Medicaid assistance for low-income families.

Erika Martin, a nursing home worker in Joliet, said, “It is unfathomable that seniors, adults with disabilities, patients and low-income families should have to be the ones to suffer because of Gov. Rauner’s extreme political agenda.  Gov. Rauner is choosing to hold vulnerable families hostage over his budget demands and is now threatening a government shutdown unless he gets his way.  This isn’t leadership. It’s cruelty – it’s bullying.”

At the beginning of the legislative session this year, Gov. Rauner proposed slashing $230 million from nursing homes and another $735 million in cuts to community hospitals that mostly serve low-income families on Medicaid.  These extreme cuts would dramatically hurt quality care for nursing home residents and hospital patients, exacerbate short staffing levels, and continue poverty wages for healthcare and nursing home workers among cutbacks to other vital programs.

Dottie Giles who is 83-years-old and lives in a senior independent living facility and a member of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans said, “It is shameful that the Governor wants to make it much harder for seniors to get access to home care assistance.  And speaking for myself, I don’t have any children or relatives in Chicago, so if I were to need help I would need a home care provider.  But how will I be able to live independently under Gov. Rauner’s budget?  We should be strengthening our home care program for seniors by telling the rich to pay their fair share – not cutting vita programs.”

Faith leaders also joined today’s rally and protest. Pastor Drew Rindfleisch of San Lucas United Church of Christ said, “Governor Rauner’s budget cuts are callous and immoral.  The people of Illinois deserve a fair budget so that our state can continue to deliver life-saving, essential services in our communities.   At an economic time like this, Rauner and state legislators should be investing in public services; not making the poor poorer, and the sick more vulnerable.”

Home care provider Yvette Anderson of Lynwood worried for the safety of the two seniors for whom she cares, including one who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease: “These severe cuts will cause enormous hardship for the sick and financial ruin for their families.”

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