Illinois Budget Impasse Negatively Impacting Social Services Organization

The state budget deadlock is forcing Lutheran Social Services of Illinois to lay off more than 750 people and cut over 30 of their programs.

Mark Stutrud, CEO and President of the organization said that the budget stalemate “has severely challenged LSSI’s ability to provide services to those in need. Over the past months, LSSI has relied on a bank line of credit and available resources from our foundation to compensate for the state’s inability to pay its bills. Currently, we are owed more than $6 million by the state for services delivered. After seven months, we can no longer provide services for which we aren’t being paid.”

A spokeswoman for LSSI said that the yearly budget will be slashed by over $20 million, down to $75 million from $96 million. She explained that over 90 percent of the program cuts are due directly to the state’s lack of payment.

“We are eliminating spending that is most linked to non-payment of services and redesigning our administrative support around a newly restructured organization,” Stutrud said. “Our plans respond to this year’s budget impasse and an anticipated lingering state financial crisis over the next several years.”