CHICAGO (CBS) — Some Illinois Democrats who defeated opponents backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in the primary election said the governor has created “Armageddon” for home healthcare and childcare agencies owed tens of millions of dollars by the state.
“Hubert Humphrey said it best. The moral test of government is how we treat our children and our seniors,” said state Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside).
Backed by representatives of various social service agencies, a group of Democratic lawmakers and one candidate who defeated a Democrat backed by the governor blamed Rauner for the ongoing budget impasse. They said a lack of vital state funding has forced many social service providers to lay off employees, or shut down altogether.
“Armageddon is here. This is not just the canary in the coal mine,” said Terri Harkin, vice president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana.
Harkin said social service groups are being used to bankroll a crisis the governor created.
“Home healthcare providers in Illinois face an interest-bearing backlog of $235.2 million in unpaid bills. What this means is that Governor Rauner is using agencies like Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, and others to serve as lending institutions for his political gamesmanship,” she said.