Local agency hopeful a year after Illinois state budget passed

Roughly a year after Illinois lawmakers ended the state budget impasse, some social service agencies across the state say they are optimistic about the future.

Two Rivers Regional Council in Quincy was hit hard by the state budget woes and funding cuts. Officials say the agency is still feeling the impact.

The agency is back to full staff and normal hours. However, it is a striking difference compared to 2016,when nearly half the staff were cut because of lack of state funding and operating hours were reduced.

But Workforce Development Director Jeremy Oshner says their Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, took a 23 percent cut for the upcoming fiscal year. The program helps people apply and train for jobs.

"Ideally, we always like to see more funding for our programs but we always try to find unique ways with what we have," Oshner said.

He added they will try to use grants and donations to make up for the cuts they are experiencing.

"Two Rivers is here and has a wide array of opportunities to be able to service them to be able to assist with their needs," Executive Director Tamitha Ague said.

The Low Income Assistance Energy Program, which helps families fix their homes to save on utility bills, were forced to turn away families in 2016.

Two Rivers Regional Council Officer Fiscal Lisa Garner says funding for the program will start October 1st and they hope to serve more families before the cuts went into place.

Related Stories:

Budget halt forces agency to turn away low income families

 

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