"The time to act is now." Those strong words came Wednesday from Gov. Bruce Rauner as he called on lawmakers to come together and find a solution to the budget impasse.
Illinois lawmakers should be planning for next year’s budget. But instead, the state has been without a budget for close to nine months now.
Rauner pledged Wednesday to negotiate with lawmakers, sign an education bill as soon as it hits his desk and push for strong reforms. He says it’s time for lawmakers to work together.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the paths before us are well-defined. Now it's time to choose. With my hand outstretched, with a genuine desire to compromise, with respect, I humbly ask you to join me in transforming our state for the better,” Rauner said.
But it’s what the governor did not say in his speech that has many people angry. From health care to nonprofits, people around the state tuned in hoping to hear an update on their overdue funding. But that update never came.
Sherrie Crabb listened carefully from her office at the Family Counseling Center as the governor gave his budget address Wednesday. Without funding from the budget impasse and no real changes following the Governor’s speech, she says they feel forgotten.
"You know, I feel like he's not heard the voices that come up and said, 'this is hurting me'," said Sherrie Crabb, Executive Director of the Family Counseling Center in Vienna.
She says if the budget impasse continues, the Family Counseling Center won't be closing its doors. But, what services they can offer and their role in the community may have to change.
"You know, we may have to make some tough changes. We may have to, honestly, take all of our eggs out of one basket, which is the state of Illinois, and restructure what Family Counseling Center does," Crabb said.
She says they’ll find a way to make sure the people of southern Illinois get the mental health services they need. She says they always find the funds to keep going, even if they don’t come from the state.
"I know that our community will not let us go. We're too much of an intricate part, and I just wish Springfield felt the same way,"
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