Governor Pat Quinn will lay out his budget priorities in front of the General Assembly tomorrow.
He's asking for new programs as well as closing dozens of state facilities.
Including Rockford's Singer Mental Health Center.
But the Governor has yet to address the state's unpaid bills.
The Governor's enthusiastic State of the State speech will be replaced by a much grimmer budget address. That is, if the Governor talks about an issue plauging the State's contractors.
"If they come up and we're 60 days back, that would be acceptable but six months is a little bit too much."
Lifescape Community Services has laid off five staff members in the last few months because of late state money. Illinois has been borrowing billions of dollars against its contractors by delaying payment. Squeezing the groups.
"With the state cuts we have to deal with rising fuel costs, rising food costs, rising costs of all kinds."
The Governor also wants to close dozens of state facilities. Two prisons and almost all of Illinois' adult transition centers are on the chopping block. As well as four mental health facilities. As the Governor opts to move patients out of large mental institutions into smaller community based settings.
"It's a case of saving the state money while at the same time, using the budget of the department of human services to serve the people better."
But local ARC Director Jacki Neil Boss says the Governor needs to re-invest in those community groups. She says past budget cuts to human services has devastated the same groups the Governor would rely on.
"It is not just a case of opening the doors, it's a case of making sure that the individuals are transition into appropriate community settings with the support that they need to be successful."
Governor Quinn's budget speech will take about an hour. But the debate in the General Assembly on how to realize his visions, or ignore them, will take months.