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Human Services Cuts Will Cost Illinois Taxpayers Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 General News J E 4
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Community-based Providers Call for No Disproportionate Cuts to Human Services

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report released today shows that cuts to human services in Illinois will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs to taxpayers. As lawmakers finalize the state budget, community-based human services providers are calling on state legislators for shared sacrifice among Illinois' health, human services, public safety and education sectors, instead of disproportionate cuts to nonprofit human service providers, as has been the practice in the past.

The report comes as members of the Illinois House and Senate deliberate more than $1 billion in budget cuts. Committees are in the midst of holding hearings on the budget before it is considered by the full House and Senate.

The Social and Economic Value of Human Services, released by the Social IMPACT Research Center of Heartland Alliance, shows the social and economic advantages of human services and the corresponding societal costs when we don't make needed investments (all numbers are total U.S.):

  • Lower GDP: Problems resulting from child poverty – which many human service agencies address – costs the U.S. economy a minimum of $500 billion per year or approximately 4% of the nation's GDP.
  • Lost purchasing power and taxable income: Median earnings for someone who fails to get a high school diploma is 2.6 time lower than someone with a bachelor's degree, which translates into billions of lost purchasing power and taxable income.
  • Soaring health care costs. Taxpayers paid out $35 billion in health care costs in 2004 for people without health insurance.
  • High cost of crime. The net burden of crime – including costs of incarceration and the legal system, lost wages, costs to victims, etc. is estimated at over $1 trillion. Saving a single high-risk youth from turning to criminal activity is estimated at $1.7 to $2.3 million.

Illinois Partners for Human Service was established in 2008 and is a growing statewide network of approximately 600 organizations that advocate for high quality, responsible, and sustainable approaches to providing human service in Illinois.

SOURCE Illinois Partners for Human Service

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