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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Illinois Budget Impasse Casualties Another Disability Social Service Agency - SHAME ON ILLINOIS LEGISLATORS!

STERLING, Ill. - KWQC TV6 News – report by Bethany Dykes | June 21, 2016

The Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living or NICIL, continues to lay-off employees and cut programs while they hope for the state of Illinois to pass a budget.

NICIL is an organization helping people with disabilities in five counties in northwestern Illinois.

Executive Director, Michelle Miller, said they began laying off employees last July the first time the state didn’t pass a budget and now a year later she will have to do it again.

“It’s incredibly difficult as a team member here to watch your team members leave without their choice in it because the state can’t do their part that they are empowered to do and we are empowered to deliver these services,” said Miller.

Jessica Craft, Center Coordinator, says her job is on the chopping block leaving her future uncertain.

“I’m very overwhelmed, it’s very emotional. You know I’ve got a little baby at home that I am trying to provide for and I don’t want it all to be on my husband,” said Craft.

This is the first time Craft has faced unemployment. Last year she was laid off until October when NICIL brought her back to the team.

“Its hard to keep going each day, you know come into work and I’m distracted. All day I’m just always thinking about what I am going to do,”said Craft.

Miller said when the agency is fully staffed they have nine employees but right now they have five, meaning each person has to play multiple roles to fill in.

After two employees are laid off, Miller said it will only be a matter of time before she has to lay-off the rest of the employees leaving her to run the place alone.

“I will do my very best but the reality is there is one of me and five counties with over 300 people and we will continue to do everything we can until our last dollar is used and then after that it is in the legislators hands,” said Miller.

Staff said the agency has stayed open through the last year by using their reserve funds, but now they are saying those funds are gone.

Miller said she doesn’t think the center will stay open for more then 90 days after July 1st, if a budget is not passed.

She is hoping the state will pass a budget and save agencies like NICIL, from these tough decisions.


As the State of Illinois continues for a second year without a budget its the citizens that are effected. With another Center for Independent Living instability due to funding, is the State of Illinois and it's elected officials goal to chase people with disabilities out of Illinois, or to fill up State Institutions, or overfill nursing homes? SHAME ON ILLINOIS LEGISLATORS!

UGH... Jim at Ability Chicago Info

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