Budget standoff forces layoffs at Illinois child aid group

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois child social service agency is laying off 16 staffers that work with at-risk youth and expectant mothers because of the nearly yearlong budget stalemate between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Children’s Home and Aid spokesman Jassen Strokosch says the state owes the agency about $1.8 million for services since July 1, the beginning of the current fiscal year. The layoffs happened Wednesday and Thursday and will impact services in East St. Louis and central Illinois.

The staffers worked to provide alternatives to incarceration to teenagers and helped find housing for homeless youth. They also provided counseling to expectant mothers during in-home visits.

Strokosch says the organization has had to let go 56 staffers so far this year because the state has not provided any funding.