Centerstone CEO Hoping Optimism on a Budget Compromise is Real

Feb 16, 2017

Social service agencies have been among the hardest hit by the ongoing Illinois budget impasse.

There is some optimism in Springfield that a budget compromise may be on the horizon to end the nearly 20-month stalemate.

Centerstone CEO John Markley says the lack of a state budget has forced his agency to shut down some programs, including its crisis center, which helped people with psychiatric emergencies. He says a full-year's budget would help Centerstone restore those lost programs.
"That's really what's missing for agencies like ourselves is the state is not stepping out and making any long term commitments, i.e., 12 months down the road. So, until they're ready to do that, it's very difficult for an agency like ours to make those commitments as well."

Markley says he is closely following the negotiations of a bi-partisan budget package in the state Senate.

He says it's the best hope for his agency to receive a full year of state funding and help restore four programs cut last year.

Markley says his agency tried to continue operating all of its programs without state funding, which put everything at risk.

"That's why we had to make those decisions. I hate that, because in our community when those programs are missing that we had to cut, it affects the sheriffs, it affect the police, it affects the families, the kids in school, it affects everybody in our communities."

Markley says until the state makes a funding commitment for a full fiscal year, it's impossible for Centerstone to make a long–term commitment for its state funded programs lost last year.