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Seniors bring attention to impact of budget impasse (VIDEO)

Seniors bring attention to impact of budget impasse

Senior service providers joined together in the Capitol Tuesday in an effort to discuss the devastating impacts the state budget impasse is having on seniors throughout Illinois.

As Illinois begins its 10th month without a budget, local senior service providers are feeling the burden now more than ever. During the rally in Springfield, advocates from senior service organizations gave testimony about just how important state funding is to keep them from shutting their doors.

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) spoke at the rally and voiced his commitment to work toward a fair budget and getting these services back in the hands of seniors.

Johnathan Becker of Senior Services Plus in Alton, a care provider that offers services to more than 30,000 people throughout the Metro-East, noted that many senior service providers have been forced to shut their doors due to lack of funding.

“We are owed millions of dollars, and the pressure has become insurmountable,” Becker said. “I don’t know how much longer we can carry on.”

Seniors who attended the rally also voiced their frustrations and noted the importance of the centers in their communities.

John Cannella, a patron of Senior Services Plus, said he relies on the organization for his health, welfare and social life. Without it, Canella noted, he would be lost.

Senate Democrats passed a spending plan in March that would allow for organizations such as Senior Services Plus to stay open and for people like John to continue receiving these vital services.