Damage Done: The Impact of the Illinois Budget Stalemate on Women and Children

Damage Done: The Impact of the Illinois Budget Stalemate on Women and Children

A budget stalemate in Illinois that lasted more than two years has done long-term damage to the state's social service infrastructure, especially services for women and children, a report from the Chicago Foundation for Women, in partnership with Voices for Illinois Children and Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Urban Research and Learning, finds. The report, Damage Done: The Impact of the Illinois Budget Stalemate on Women and Children (38 pages, PDF), found that low-income women and their families were among the hardest hit by the impasse and subsequent cuts to state-funded services, which affected programs such as home visitation, childcare, preventative breast and cervical cancer screenings, college financial aid, domestic violence prevention and shelters, and services for the homeless. The report also found that providers of services funded by the stopgap budget had to wait an average of seven months to be paid. The report's authors argue that women and children end up paying the steepest price when human services providers have their funding cut and urge policy makers to take steps to avoid future cuts to the state's social safety net.