Illinois Starts To Pay Social Service Agencies, But Several Still Push Lawsuit To Appellate Court
Social service agencies around Illinois are starting to get the money the state owes them from the year-long budget impasse.
Since the payments began, numerous agencies have dropped from a lawsuit against the state.
Teen Parent Connection, an organization that serves about 500 DuPage County families with teenage parents, had a contract to continue providing service when the state had no budget to pay the organization.
In all, the state owed Teen Parent Connection $335,000 for work done during the impasse, according to the organization.
“We were quite surprised about 10 days ago to receive full payment on our FY16 contracts for our Healthy Families Illinois program,” said Becky Beilfuss, who runs Teen Parent Connection.
The organization was one of about 100 that collectively sued the state in a lawsuit for not paying them for work done during the impasse. But a Cook County judge ruled against them last month and sided with attorneys for the state, who argued they weren’t violating any contracts by not fully paying what was owed.
Now that the state is partially paying for services completed during the budget impasse, organizations like Teen Parent Connection are dropping from the lawsuit.
The number of organizations now suing the state has been cut in half. About 50 social service agencies that haven’t been fully paid are continuing with the lawsuit, including The Ounce of Prevention, an organization run by Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner.
Those organizations submitted an appeal to the Cook County judge’s decision on Tuesday.
Tony Arnold reports on Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him @tonyjarnold.