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.
Beyond the financial argument, we are talking about forcing some of our most vulnerable citizens into a terrible situation that is completely avoidable. It’s not fair to ask our seniors and people with disabilities to bear the brunt of this budget battle. I urge Gov. Rauner and Rep. Bill Mitchell to stand up for these constituents, even though they don’t have millions to contribute to a political war chest. Their voices matter, too. I can guarantee that they, and tens of thousands of other residents like them across Illinois, would notice a shutdown. Please come to the table and negotiate so we can protect vital services that so many count on and avoid a shutdown that would have devastating repercussions.