It is with great sadness that I write to you today advising you that due to the lack of a budget agreement for FY16, LINC will be laying off 7 people and furloughing down to 25.5 hours per week for the remaining 9 staff. Not only will this negatively affect the consumers we serve who depend upon our services to maintain their independence, but will also cut the taxes that staff would have paid into the State of Illinois. This same scenario will be playing out all over Illinois in the next two weeks, thus compounding the affect of loss of services for thousands of consumers and loss of thousands of tax dollars. In addition to this, the ripple effect of the reduction of consumer spending will be felt by businesses throughout Illinois.
Since October 1, 2014 LINC served 249 people in an ongoing way and another 618 through information and referral. Our consumers come from all ethnic and disability back grounds. Some were born with disabilities, some whose disability appeared as part of the aging process, others had a disease process that led to their disability and still others who were significantly injured in accidents or during military duty. Many use a personal assistant, wheel chair, walker or cane. Most live at or below the poverty line. All received some kind of support through LINC’s services that allowed them to live in a less costly and more pleasant environment – specifically their own home or the home of a loved one. All of these people have names, faces, hopes and dreams.
For some consumers this will be the tipping point and they will lose their independence to the nursing home or in more serious situations death. My question to you is why? Why for years has there not been the political will to change this scenario when it was well known by leaders. Why do we act in this horrendous play so late in the game? Why must so many suffer for the failure of so few? I for one am tired of finger pointing and political maneuvering. You cannot justify the ends by the means in this situation. Governor Rauner, Senator Cullerton, Representative Madigan, Democrats and Republican members of the House and Senate get off dead center and cut a deal that works in a positive way for Illinois. Anything less is failure for both sides and for those of us that sent you to Springfield in the first place.
15 Emerald Terrace