SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D- Aurora, highlighted the consequences of Illinois’ budget impasse in her district.

“The state has not had a balanced budget since Governor Rauner took office, and the impasse has hurt Illinoisans of all walks of life,” Holmes said. “The Illinois Constitution states that the governor must provide the legislature with a balanced budget. He has not done so and Illinois residents have suffered as a result. In his public remarks, the governor has continually tried to minimize the negative effects of going without a budget, but my constituents are struggling.”

Mutual Ground, a shelter and service provider for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, signed a contract with the Illinois Department of Human Services for fiscal year 2017. The organization has yet to be paid this year. Michelle Meyer, executive director of Mutual Ground, estimates that the organization is missing over $370,000 in state funding.

 “Mutual Ground not only provides vital services for victims of crime, but it is an organization that employs 43 people in our community,” Meyer said. “We are consistently being asked to foot the bill for services the State contracts us to provide. Human services are crucial to the overall health of our State and are unfortunately some of the most negatively impacted by our State leaders’ inability to work toward a resolution. This cannot continue"

Mutual Ground offers intervention, prevention, and continuing support services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. The nonprofit was not covered in the stopgap spending plan and leaders have not been told when or if they will receive funding for the current year. The uncertainty has caused the departure of 10 staff members due to attrition and layoffs. As a result, Mutual Ground has been forced to turn away people in need of services.


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Holmes speaks at SD 129's announcementAURORA — West Aurora School District 129 today announced its proposed new West Aurora School District Campus – a 15-acre site near the intersection of Galena Boulevard and Edgelawn Avenue on Aurora’s west side.

“The unique partnership demonstrates how high quality education offerings affect economic development and quality of life in the community,” said District 129 Superintendent Jeff Craig. “Most certainly, this investment from the District, the City of Aurora and Advocate Health will benefit West Aurora School District for generations to come.”

The campus will be home to the district’s new Early Childhood Development Center, new district administration offices, and a new technical training center.

The agreement comes 14 months after a capital needs referendum that identified early childhood and post-secondary training as areas to expand upon, Craig said. State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, assisted the district by bringing together representatives of Advocate and the school district.

“This is the result of government, business and school districts working together,” Holmes said. “Dreyer has been a member of the community for nearly a century and this is an investment in the community that will enrich education for generations of students to come.”

Read more: West Aurora High School announces new campus, career training partnership

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