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Families Tell Lawmakers Stories Of Distress Related To Budget Impasse

Members of the Illinois House heard stories yesterday of misery resulting from nearly two years without a state budget. Democrats used the opportunity to attack Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The message came from people with drug addiction, domestic-violence counselors, and parents of disabled children — like Kathy Hansen of Elmhurst.

“We are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and family members who can’t sleep at night because the state has virtually abandoned our loved ones,” she said.

Marybeth Linse of Ingleside says her daughter Jessica, a quadriplegic who depends on a ventilator, hasn't been home in two years. She said Jessica is staying at a care facility 65 miles away from her area because the state told her home care isn't available nearby.

"Please, I want my daughter back home,” Linse told lawmakers.

Rauner accused Democrats of using the people who testified as “props.”

Rauner wants lawmakers to return to Springfield for budget work but also adopt his political and economic agenda. Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, said the governor ought to be recalled.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.