Metro East residents plead for end to budget impasse - KMOV.com

Metro East residents plead for end to budget impasse

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(KMOV.com) - Programs are being slashed left and right in Illinois, leaving Metro East residents pleading for Governor Rauner to pass the budget.  Many Illinois residents have been effected by the cuts in funding and services because of the budget impasse.

"It is time to go to war with the state if necessary to give us what we rightfully deserve for our citizens because we are dying out here," said Elizabeth Patton-Whiteside, East Side Health District Administrator.

Kimberly West, a mom to an autistic son, worries where her 7-year-old, Clayton, would be without The Autism Program of Illinois.  

"It is devastating to my child who has autism.  Where would he be without this?  Locked away in a hospital, in a while room where they wanted to put him," says West.  

Before getting connected with The Autism Program of Illinois, she felt hopeless.  

"It made a huge difference because I never thought he was autistic. Everybody thought he was behavioral and other problems," she says.

Another service already seeing cuts is a rape crisis center.  

"All of the progress I have made, I have progressed so much after my rape.  Going back to that, I just can't imagine, I can't imagine," says Mariah Morton.

Morton says if the center completely went away, the implications would be huge for her and other survivors.

"That is our safe place for us to go because no one can related better than a rape crisis center, no one just really can't," she says.  

Seniors on Wheels has also been affected by budget issues.  Not only are seniors getting less meals that they used to, but starting in February, there will be no rides for seniors who need to be driven to appointments or have errands.

State Representative Jay Hoffman held a news conference for these groups to come together and plea for a budget to be passed.  He said two things will have to happen for a budget to get passed: people will have need guts to make some tough cuts and also people who are willing to provide a revenue.

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