Public health administrators in Illinois Region 1, representing Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago Counties, are being forced to close programs and make lay-offs due to a lack of state funding.
Local state certified health departments receive funding for public health through the Local Health Protection Grant. None of this funding has been paid to local health departments since the start of the state fiscal year in July 2015.
Health departments in our region have had to prioritize services through a variety of methods including the use of emergency funds, furloughs, staff lay-offs, service reductions and program closures. Those methods have reduced the ability of local departments to respond to public health emergencies such as influenza, Ebola and Zika.
Health administrators are urging local communities to contact their legislators to pass a budget that protects the public’s health. They say time passing each day continues to erode the public health system.