Rauner's attack on Illinois families
Governor Bruce Rauner has manufactured a budget crisis in a bid to enact his political, anti-union agenda. In reality, it’s not a budget crisis, it’s a revenue crisis, and Rauner is defending a system that places the tax burden on the backs of the working families least able to pay. Meanwhile, Rauner defends tax loopholes and schemes that benefit big corporations, Wall Street banks and the super-wealthy like himself while attacking the caregivers who help our children, seniors and people with disabilities.
Even though social services agencies, prevention programs and universities continue to turn away clients and students, with more shuttering their doors every day, Rauner is refusing to fix the calamity that he created which has vulnerable people as his chief victims.
Who’s hurt by Rauner’s dangerous cuts?
- 80,000 children lost access to safe and affordable child care
- 5,000 parents and small business owners lost their jobs
- 44,000 seniors are in danger
- Illinois taxpayers are buried in $10 billion in debt
Some 50,000 home healthcare and child care workers have operated without contracts since July 1st, and have been subject to extreme demands at the bargaining table, including stripping them of wages and health insurance.
Though Rauner walked back some of his most egregious cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program at the 11th hour last year, his failure to support key legislation resulted in 48,000 fewer children being served by the state. The program is permanently damaged. (Source).
Thanks to these draconian cuts, Illinois now ranks dead last—50th out of 50 states—when it comes to affordable child care.
Rauner's child care cuts are having massive negative economic effects. Child care is a major economic multiplier, and Rauner's extreme cuts are a huge job killer. Studies show that each dollar spent on child care assistance yields at least $2.03 in economic activity, and up to $3.74 when federal matching funds are added.
Even worse, Rauner's cuts are causing thousands of layoffs to child care providers, and forcing thousands of parents to turn down employment or quit their jobs entirely due to lack of affordable child care.
In February, Gov. Rauner announced $198 million in cuts to the State's Community Care Program (CCP) that provides vital home healthcare assistance to seniors. Rauner's reckless budget would cut the vital program and harm more than 43,000 seniors in Illinois. Half of all seniors in CCP would face dramatic service cuts and sharp reductions in home care assistance and many of these will end up in costlier nursing facilities. (Source).
- The $197.6 million cut represents an average cut of $4,520 in services annually per affected senior.
- $4,520 is a 43% cut in services compared with the average amount of services seniors receive currently.
Bruce Rauner's plan directly affects seniors. Of the 104,000+ seniors in the CCP, they are:
- Mostly women (70.4%)
- Largely racial minorities (61.6%)
- People who live alone (51.7%)
- Individuals with annual incomes of $20,000 or less (86%) ($1,667/month, equivalent to making $9.61/hr FT, year round)
- Only costing the state a mere average of $1,061/month
The average Illinois nursing home costs approximately $4,331.35/month ($144.38/day), or more than 4x the cost of providing similar services at the senior's home (source).
Governor Rauner has sought to strip the lowest-paid workforce in the state of health insurance and training, along with other demands meant to diminish if not outright eliminate the workplace voice of these vital workers. He also is demanding a wage freeze for workers earning poverty-level wages. Already, he has stopped payments to the healthcare funds for workers, raising immediate threats of misery and economic hardship on a large scale. (Source).
Thanks to the U.S. Department of Labor, starting January 1, 2016, home care workers were finally extended federal overtime protections. Instead of engaging with stakeholders on this issue, the Rauner administration is attempting to circumvent the rule and avoid paying overtime to workers by capping hours at 35 starting March 1, 2016. Under the policy, the state requires customers to hire additional workers to ensure no one works over 35 hours per week. Home care customers and workers are threatened with loss of services or jobs if they fail to comply with the new policy.
By cutting wages and health insurance for caregivers, services are destabilized and our seniors, children and most vulnerable residents are put in harm's way.