Centerstone Leaders Hopeful Stop-gap Funding Bill Signals Budget Progress

May 16, 2016

A little is good, but some social service providers say they need state funding - and the certainty - that comes with a full budget for this fiscal year.

Kathryn Sime is Advancement Director for Centerstone in southern Illinois. She says they've had to reduce services over the last ten months as they try to keep going without expected state funding - but it's been hard.
"We've obviously had to make some cuts, and we're continuing to look at ways to reduce overhead expenses without sacrificing quality services for our clients."

Sime says a little funding is good - the bill provides 46% of what agencies received last year - but she says a full budget is what they're still pushing for.

"It's clearly better than nothing, but at the same time, we are continuing to urge lawmakers to pass a fair and just budget that would sustain us beyond this stopgap."

Centerstone provides mental health and substance abuse treatment in the region, but has had to cut back in some areas to protect what Sime says are the group's "core services."

Lawmakers last week approved stop-gap funding that would cover 46% of last year's state appropriation.

Sime says that will help, but they need a full budget for this year - and for next - so that clients can get the treatment they need.