Gov. Rauner announces 171 union layoffs, cuts funds for bullying -

Gov. Rauner announces 171 union layoffs, cuts funds for bullying prevention

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. ( - A series of funding cuts have been made by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in order to fill $420 million of the $4 billion gap in the state budget, proposed in June. Recent cuts have included a freeze on funding for bullying prevention grants and have resulted in 171 layoffs of union positions.

Lists of funding cuts to programs included the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture,

Department of Veteran's Affairs, Department of State Police, Office of State Fire Marshal, Criminal Justice Authority and others.

The state layoffs impact multiple unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipality Employees (AFSCME) and the Teamsters. The largest number is from the Department of Natural Resources, with 107 layoffs announced.

“Governor Rauner has compromised repeatedly, but Speaker Madigan and the politicians he controls continue to block any real reform,” said Lance Trover, spokesman for Gov. Rauner in a press release. “It’s deeply troubling to see that Speaker Madigan remains committed to sacrificing the middle class in order to protect the political class.”

One notable change was the suspension of Bullying Prevention grants, which are used to prevent the bullying of LGBTQ and minority students, among others.

On Monday, Meals on Wheels and the senior centers in East St. Louis and Cahokia closed their doors due to the Illinois budget standoff, said program officials.

"That home-delivered meal was probably the one thing that was helping them sustain (themselves) before they would have to go into a nursing home, so it's pretty devastating," said Joy Paeth of Agesmart Community Resources.

A press release from the center said the closure could be entirely attributed to the lack of a state budget agreement.

An agreement on the Illinois State Budget was supposed to be agreed upon by July 1, but an agreement has not yet been reached.

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