Autism organization says Rauner ignoring lawmakers with budget cuts

SPRINGFIELD — The head of a state-funded program whose funding was just cut says the governor is ignoring what lawmakers just passed in the budget fix for the current year.
 
Russell Bonanno, the statewide director of The Autism Program of Illinois, says he was caught off guard by the email he received on Good Friday saying fourth quarter funding was suspended immediately.
 
Bonnano says when Speaker Michael Madigan introduced the fix on the House floor; he stated that it was his understanding that the fix would allow services for developmental disabilities, mental health, and TAP, to not suffer any funding cuts for this last quarter.
 
Bonanno says children in every Illinois county have been helped by TAP, and he doesn’t yet know what they will do to offset the cuts.
 
Leigh Grannan, director of the TAP Center in Springfield, says in theory, they’d have to shut down or severely cut their services, but that’s not right.
 
Grannan says in the event of an interruption or discontinuation of services, they are required to make timely efforts to continue behavioral therapy services, and – taken directly from their code of ethics – not abandon clients.
 
Grannan added that because there isn’t a list of other clinical providers out there that making transferring services difficult if not impossible.