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RSSI in the NEWS

RSSI Joins Pay Now Illinois coalition to Sue State of Illinois for Non-Payment of Contracts

Pay Now Illinois

Renaissance Social Services, Inc (RSSI) today joined a collation of 64 other human and social service agencies and companies in Illinois to file a lawsuit against Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the heads of six statewide departments.  The coalition, Pay Now Illinois, filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court claiming that the Governor and other state officials acted illegally by failing to make $100 million in payments for contracts dating back to July 1, 2015, the start of the State’s fiscal year.

“Like so many other social service agencies in Illinois, we, at RSSI, have been deeply affected by the State’s failure to pay for services we mutually agreed to provide,” said Michael Banghart, Executive Director of RSSI.  “This failure to act not only has consequences for the nearly 700 men, women and families we work to keep out of homelessness every year, but for the many others who are at risk for homelessness and are finding that agencies are too stretched to help them.”

The suit claims that funds to pay for these services were duly appropriated by the General Assembly on May 28 and 29, 2015, but subsequently vetoed by the Governor, including funding that he himself had proposed for these services.  State agencies continued to execute contracts with social service providers even after the Governor’s veto of the budget, in essence operating off the backs of providers who deliver essential services to vulnerable populations.

“We have delivered services under binding contracts,” says Andrea Durbin, of Pay Now Illinois, “and now the state needs to pay us.  We are doing our part.  We expect the state to do the same.”

RSSI, a recognized provider of permanent supportive housing and preventive services in the city, has had to eliminate five staff positions as a result of the State’s inaction and has had to shift caseloads simply to ensure clients continue to receive a basic level of care.  “Instead of providing the full spectrum of services our participants have come to expect from us,” says Michael Banghart, “we’ve been forced to cut back.  We remain hopeful that the suit will allow us to recuperate expenses for services already delivered so we can focus again on providing care that will lead to greater health and autonomy for the men, women and families we serve.”

To learn more about our coalition or to find a link to the lawsuit, please visit www.paynowillinois.org.



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