(Feb. 4th, 2016) — Progressive and democratic leaders in Chicago, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and Pastor Michael Pflager among other leaders, held a major press conference to endorse Julianna Stratton for Illinois’ 5th District.
Ms. Stratton is challenging State Rep. Ken Dunkin who is a major supporter of Gov. Bruce Rauner and his extreme agenda to destroy child care assistance in the state. As proof of Ken Dunkin’s very close relationship to Gov. Bruce Rauner and other right-wing special interests, a pro-Rauner Super PAC just donated $500,000 to Ken Dunkin’s reelection.
Check out this press coverage from the endorsement event:
CLTV: Democratic Heavyweights Endorse Juliana Stratton Over Rep Dunkin For Betraying His Community
Chicago ABC: Democratic Powerhouses Endorse Juliana Stratton Over Rauner-Bakced Ken Dunkin
As Illinois Lapses Into an Eighth Month Without a State Budget, and Further Cuts to Vital Services Continuing, Working Families and Faith Leaders Say Gov. Rauner “Broke Illinois on Purpose”
(January 27th, 2016, Rockford) —Rev. Matthew Johnson of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford joined our home care worker and member leader, Ruthie Fairchild, to respond to Gov. Rauner’s “State of the State” address to the General Assembly. Rauner failed to even acknowledge Illinois’ budget crisis, nor did Rauner offer any plan to deal with the horrific cuts to vital services and layoffs to human service providers, such as the recent news that Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is cutting more than 750 positions.
Check out some of the remarkable press coverage we received in fighting back against Gov. Rauner’s extreme agenda:
Rockford NBC: Home Care Worker Ruthie Fairchild Slams Rauner’s Extreme Agenda in State of the State
Rockford ABC. Rev Johnson of Unitarian Church: Rauner’s State of State Divorced from Reality
Rockford CBS: Faith Leaders Respond to Rauner’s State Address: “Gov. Is Hurting Vulnerable Families”
Rockford FOX: After State Address Faith Leaders Criticize Rauner’s Extreme Cuts to Vital Services
Background: Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to insist on using vulnerable people as pawns to enact his anti-union agenda which has nothing to do with improving the state’s economy for working families. Social services have been particularly hard-hit by Gov. Rauner’s agenda, including the state’s child care and home healthcare programs which serve tens of thousands of vulnerable, at-risk and needy Illinoisans.
Gov. Rauner’s Attacks on Home Healthcare: As a sign of his misplaced priorities Gov. Rauner originally wanted to throw 34,000 seniors and people with disabilities off of home healthcare programs by raising income eligibility standards as a way of balancing the state’s budget. But home care workers, advocates and state lawmakers stopped Rauner’s extreme cuts.
Gov. Rauner still wants to cap eligibility for seniors at $17,000 annual income, which would kick more than an estimated 19,000 seniors off the Community Cares Program (CCP), likely forcing many of these seniors into far costlier nursing homes.
And while home healthcare workers continue to serve seniors and adults with disabilities, workers are still negotiating their state contract. At the bargaining table, Rauner wants to eliminate or limit health care coverage for 13,000 low-income home care providers, which will destabilize the workforce.
Gov. Rauner is also seeking to get around new federal rules to cap overtime hours for care givers, which will leave seniors and people with disabilities scrambling for care and cause financial hardship for an estimated 9,000 home healthcare providers.
Rauner’s cuts to home healthcare also hurt the economy. Studies show that every dollar created by investing in home healthcare creates more than 2 dollars in economic growth; and that for every 100 jobs created in this sector, another 35 related jobs are created.
Similarly, as the State Journal Register reported last week, Gov. Rauner’s attacks on the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) show there are more than 48,000 fewer children in the program from July to December than the same time last year. The full extent of the damage is just being revealed.