Local health departments warn of budget impasse impact

An association representing nearly 100 local health departments says the state budget impasse is "eroding" the ability to respond to public health emergencies.
    
The Illinois Public Health Association president said in a letter released Wednesday that 16 of 97 public health departments have cut back on staff, hours and services.
    
Association President Miriam Link-Mullison says rural areas have been hit the hardest.
    
She says health departments plan to ask lawmakers for $17 million. The money would cover a fraction of what the departments are owed by the state, but help fund basic services, like monitoring communicable diseases and restaurant inspections.
    
Illinois is in its fourth month without a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.
    
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats can’t agree on a spending plan.

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