Past Due: Lawmakers Look For Answers On Human Services Cuts

Apr 14, 2015

 Some Lawmakers say that they believed certain programs had been protected under a budget deal recently struck with the governor to fund state services through the rest of the fiscal year. But Gov. Bruce Rauner froze several human services grants earlier this month — including support for people with autism.

Now a Senate budget committee is calling on members of the administration to explain the cuts. Democratic Sen. Dan Kotowski, who chairs the committee, says the money should be restored.

“Well, we need to get answers. There was a promise that was made that we were going to keep funding in place for those people living with developmental disabilities and living with autism,” he said. “We need to figure out a way to correct this mistake, restore funding, to make sure we help people who are living with developmental disabilities lead a decent quality life.”

Republican legislators say that the budget fix gave the governor the power to move money around and that lawmakers should focus on crafting next year’s budget. Rauner has said that he may consider releasing some of the money after each grant has been reviewed.