State sued for county cash

Chicago Sun-Times - - CITY BEAT - Si­mone Alicea

The Cook County state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice is su­ing the state for fail­ing to re­im­burse agen­cies that en­force child sup­port be­cause of the bud­get stale­mate in Spring­field.

State’s At­tor­ney Anita Alverez has filed an ac­tion in fed­eral court on be­half of the county sher­iff’s, cir­cuit court clerk’s, and chief judge’s of­fices, a state­ment from Al­varez’s of­fice said.

The ac­tion al­leges that the state and its Depart­ment of Health­care and Fam­ily Ser­vices have failed to re­im­burse agen­cies that op­er­ate the county’s $ 18 mil­lion child sup­port en­force­ment pro­gram since July 2015. The state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice also claims the state failed to for­ward child sup­port en­force­ment spend­ing re­ports to the fed­eral govern­ment.

Al­though the county has con­tin­ued to fund the pro­gram, the money was not ini­tially in­cluded in the county’s bud­get, and cuts are now im­mi­nent, ac­cord­ing to Al­varez.

“Vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in Cook County con­tinue to be col­lat­eral dam­age in this on­go­ing bud­get stale­mate and we can no longer stand by while this cri­sis plays out,” Al­varez said in the state­ment, adding the lack of fund­ing places tens of thou­sands of chil­dren at risk.

Ser­vices across Illinois have been strug­gling to stay funded as Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity re­main grid­locked, push­ing the state into its ninth month with­out a bud­get.

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