Illinois was without a complete budget for almost 2½ years, and many state agencies and not-for-profits either closed, drastically cut services or borrowed money to stay in business.

The Community Care Program (CCP) was established in 1979 as part of the Illinois Department of Aging to help seniors, who might otherwise go to nursing homes, remain home by providing in-home and/or community-based services.

My 91-year-old mother lives with me, and we’ve accessed services from the YWCA which is under its umbrella. The YWCA was forced to eliminate 80 employees who provided low-income seniors in-home services such as cooking, cleaning, and personal care, due to state reimbursement delays.

Gov. Rauner wants to wipe out the CCP and replace it with services similar to the currently abandoned, problem-riddled Community Reinvestment Program. Instead of in-home workers cooking meals, seniors would get food vouchers from restaurants.

Rauner would contract out services like cleaning, and have seniors use Uber for transportation. Rauner wants Bloomington to be a “pilot city” for the program. No employee vetting for criminal backgrounds would be done as is the current practice with Community Care Programs, subjecting our most vulnerable to harm.

Gov. Rauner cares more about privatizing services than the most needy in our state: seniors, the disabled, and young children. We need new leadership in Illinois and legislators that will stand up to save proven programs like the Community Care Program.

Camille Taylor, Bloomington

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