Report: Budget impasse did lasting damage to Illinois women, children August 03 2017 Brandon Richard WSIL Though Illinois lawmakers passed a budget, the two years it took to do it caused lasting damage, according to a new report. Researchers working with the Chicago Foundation for Women examined the cuts to programs designed to help women and children. Among the findings they cited in their report: 30,000 fewer children received child care because of of cuts to child care assistance programs; 34 percent fewer women received preventative screenings for breast and cervical cancer because of cuts and reduced hours at public health facilities; and thousands turned away from domestic violence shelters across the state because of cuts to those programs. Martha Shum is the assistant director of the Women’s Center in Carbondale, which is mentioned in the report. Shum says thankfully the Women’s Center did not turn anyone way, but they did lay off two workers, which increased the work load on other employees. “In the last 17 years I’ve worked here this is the worst they we’ve been through financially, this particular last two years,” said Shum. Shum said the community stepped up to fill the void by donating to the center. “It’s so touching to know that we have that support,” said Shum. “There were a lot of various generous individuals in our community who came forward and helped us.” Although the state passed a budget, the center is not out of the woods quite yet. The comptroller still hasn’t sent the payments approved in the budget, though Shum said they were told they were toward the top of the list. She just hopes the center never faces a problem like it has over the last two years. Read the original here.