(Rockford, Ill. - 06/30/2015) – United Way of Illinois sent an open letter this morning to the Governor and leaders of the General Assembly asking them to act together immediately to pass a state budget. United Way is very aware of the uncertainty and distress that these delays and potential cuts are causing across the human services sector and with our partner agencies in particular. We will continue advocating for a responsible budget that recognizes the value and importance of human services.

Below is a transcript of the open letter.


June 30, 2015

An Open Letter to the Leadership of the General Assembly and the Governor

As the largest collective private funder of human services in the state, United Way of Illinois has serious concerns about the ongoing budget stalemate and what it means for the people of Illinois.

Non-profit organizations are the backbone for the delivery of state services to our most at-risk and vulnerable citizens. Hundreds of our partner agencies, who have worked for decades on the state's behalf to serve the people of Illinois, depend on elected leaders to pass a timely and fiscally responsible budget — a budget that provides funding for programs that ensure basic quality of life to our disadvantaged neighbors and that advance the collective economic strength of the region.

The 52 local United Ways that make up United Way of Illinois continue to provide support and funding to our partners, but private philanthropy cannot possibly fill the hole left in the absence of state funding. Nor can human service providers continue to do their critical work without a line of sight to what state funding they can operate with this coming fiscal year.

With the state's new fiscal year only a day away with no approved budget, nonprofit organizations are wrestling with untenable uncertainty — planning for lay-offs, reducing client numbers and shuttering programs. United Way research shows that in large regions of our state, more than 75% of our partner agencies depend significantly on state resources to provide services. The nonprofit sector in Illinois has repeatedly answered the call to do more with less, and has delivered efficient, quality services. It relies on the state to pass a clear and timely plan for this fiscal year. Illinois needs to turn this comer and set a new path.

We ask that the General Assembly and the Governor work side by side to serve the citizens of Illinois by promptly passing a state budget.

Again, United Way of Illinois stands at the ready to partner with state leaders to make the most of a responsible state budget that serves the needs of all Illinois citizens.

Mark R. Burton

Chair, United Way of Illinois
Chair, United Way of Quad Cities


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

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