Manar SpringfieldSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) joined Springfield families standing in opposition to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to reduce and eliminate life-saving treatment for breast and cervical cancer patients, home energy assistance, in-home care for the elderly and other services for middle-class families Thursday.

“Governor Rauner has spent a lot of time promoting his agenda and his cuts, but we see example after example of how his proposals will hurt Springfield’s middle- and working-class families, seniors and neighborhoods,” Manar said.

“The state budget isn’t just numbers on paper, it’s a collection of choices that will affect the lives of hard-working middle-class families, senior citizens and the sick and disabled. We need to make sure those choices are made with their best interests in mind,” said Scherer. “I spend time listening to families individually every week, and this is an opportunity to hear directly from the people whose health, housing, child care, education and livelihoods are at stake with the budget.”
Rauner has proposed cutting the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program by nearly $10 million. An estimated 27,000 women rely on the program every year to access free mammograms and cervical cancer screenings, but the governor’s cut would keep an estimated 14,000 women from accessing this life-saving care. Additionally, Rauner’s proposals will make it more difficult for senior citizens to receive in-home care, which will force more local adults into costlier nursing home care.  

Rauner’s plan also slashes funding for local hospitals, cutting nearly $20 million from Springfield’s St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center. The Illinois Hospital Association warns that these cuts would cost the area more than $44 million in economic activity, and eliminate 330 local jobs.   

Additionally, Rauner has called for the suspension of funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps 4,500 Sangamon County residents keep the heat on every winter, and has proposed severe reductions to programs that serve families of children with autism, and provide in-home care for the elderly.

Beginning on July 1, the governor also plans to cut funding and stop accepting children into the state program that helps cover the costs of day care for working mothers, meaning many local families will face a difficult decision between working and caring for their children. Rauner’s plan would hike copays and put children on a waiting list for the Child Care Assistance Program.

Local families stood with Scherer and Manar at the Central Counties Health Centers to urge a more balanced approach that responsibly addresses the state’s budget challenges while protecting critical services for middle-class families, the elderly and those in great need.

“It’s time to step away from heated rhetoric and look at the impact of rash budgetary decisions that will hurt middle-class families,” said Scherer. “I want to work with all interested and affected parties to ensure that budget decisions are made carefully, while looking at the long-term impact, what waste we can safely cut, and what vital services we must preserve. The voices of area moms, senior citizens, nurses, and so many others cannot be overlooked in any part of this debate.”

“Springfield and the rest of the state face significant challenges. We are here to support the people and groups who work every day to overcome those obstacles,” Manar said.

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Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228

Decatur Office:
Macon County Office Building
141 S. Main St., Suite 502
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 429-8110

Bunker Hill Office:
115 N. Washington, P.O. Box 636
Bunker Hill, IL 62014
Phone: (618) 585-4848