Budget impasse cuts services for domestic abuse victims

SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — State services for battered women and children are being significantly impacted from the budget impasse and could be for years, according to organizations that help Illinois’ domestic violence victims.

A shelter in Olney in southern Illinois has closed its doors. The executive director at a Chicago-based group providing counseling is working without pay, as have directors at a Centralia organization. Others say they’re laying off staff, spending reserves or borrowing.

Veteran advocates say it’s unprecedented.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats are an impasse over a July 1 spending plan. A lot of money is being spent through state laws and court orders, but many social service providers aren’t benefiting.

A bill authorizing roughly $2 billion in social services spending is pending. Lawmakers return to Springfield on Oct. 20.