Progress Illinois: With State Owing Agency $1 Million, Chicago Home Care Service Struggles To Keep Doors Open

By Ellyn Fortino

February 2nd, 2016

A Chicago-based home care service agency is on the verge of having to cut payroll costs in half for its 250-member workforce as a direct result of the ongoing state budget impasse.

Family Home Service, Inc. provides in-home services to more than 500 seniors and people with disabilities in Chicago...

"To the seniors, to the people with disabilities and to the employees of this agency, many of whom live in my community, I want apologize," Guzzardi said. "I'm here as a member of state government, and state government has failed you. It's an embarrassing situation."...

Guzzardi said it is "unacceptable" that Family Home Service and other agencies are struggling to pay their workers a "basic wage" as a result of the budget battle in Springfield. 

At the same time, Guzzardi said, "the state of Illinois is paying of millions of dollars in bank feesto the biggest banks in this state, despite having no legal obligation to do so."

"We're putting the banks in the front of the line," he said, "and we're putting the seniors and the folks who serve them at the back of the line."...

"The state does not have enough money ... to pay a wide variety of services. We are billions of dollars short. The only possible solution is bringing in more money. Republicans know that. Democrats know that. The governor knows that. The speaker knows that," Guzzardi said. "The only question, in my mind, is: who do we ask to pay?"

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