051816 js 0461Centerstone, one of the largest behavioral health care providers in Illinois, has announced it will end its contracts with the state due to the lack of the state budget.

Centerstone currently employs 600 people across the state and provides services to 16,000 people. The announcement came Tuesday from John Markley, CEO of the organization.

State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) noted how important Centerstone is to the part of Southern Illinois he represents, and said this announcement has left him deeply concerned.

“Enough is enough,” said Forby. “We have sent the governor plans that would have kept this from happening. He vetoed them. Now he has yet another plan on his desk right now that would help to alleviate the issue, yet he has vowed to veto it. We are losing jobs, people are losing services and we cannot continue on like this. The governor needs to sign the legislation that is on his desk right now.”

Before the General Assembly adjourned in May, they sent a bipartisan, stop gap budget to the governor that would free up funding and prevent similar situations such as the one that is occurring at Centerstone from happening.

In the release issued by Centerstone Tuesday, the organization noted that their services would be impacted in Franklin, Jackson, Williamson counties, among others.

Centerstone was also forced to close their Big Brother Big Sister location in Southern Illinois in March. The announcement today would mean a loss of 39 staff members and a total of 700 clients being directly impacted by the budget impasse.

Forby added that he will continue his efforts to keep Centerstone open and providing services to individuals throughout the district.


Category: Uncategorised

Hardin work campState Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) expressed his disappointment that the governor’s news conference in Southern Illinois today wasn’t to announce jobs for Southern Illinois. The Rauner Administration cut jobs in the region by closing the Hardin Work Camp. Bringing quality jobs to Southern Illinois has been Senator Forby’s top priority and one that he believes the governor should share.

Senator Forby released the following statement on Wednesday:

“I was hoping the governor was coming to Southern Illinois to tell us he is going to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp and help put Southern Illinois back to work. I guess not. What Southern Illinois needs is more jobs, not more Rauner news conferences. I work for the people of Southern Illinois and my biggest initiative is to bring jobs back to the region. I would think this is something the governor could get on board with.”

Category: Uncategorised


Senator Forby


Dear Friends,


Harrisburg Superintendent of Schools, Mike Gauch, recently was among 14 superintendents throughout Illinois who signed a letter to Gov. Rauner urging him to act on school funding reform.


The letter made the following point:


“In the past four years, Harrisburg School District 3 has lost over $3.85 million due to the current and inequitable approach to school funding. This has meant cutting teaching staff by 10 percent, administrative staff by 10 percent, and support staff by 30 percent. While under your proposal, Harrisburg sees an increase of $34,259, districts with fewer low-income students receive significantly higher amounts of funding.”


I agree our school funding system is flawed. That’s why I voted for Senate Bill 231. I stand with Harrisburg School District and all of the school districts throughout Southern Illinois.


Let’s bring fair funding to Southern Illinois schools. Urge the governor to make school funding a priority.


Gary Forby
Senator Gary Forby
59th District – Illinois



Benton Office
903 West Washington, Suite 5 • Benton, IL 62812
618-439-2504 (Phone) • 618-438-3704 (Fax)


Springfield Office
417B Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5509 (Phone)





Category: Uncategorised

Forby working for SIUAs Southern Illinois University continues its struggle due to the budget impasse, Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) helped to pass a bipartisan measure that would allow the university to continue serving students throughout Southern Illinois.

The measure, Senate Bill 2059, would release emergency funds to help universities throughout Illinois keep their doors open and allow students to receive MAP grant funding.

“I voted for this today because SIU is in a crisis situation. Jobs are at stake, our young people’s education is at stake, and I will not stand by and let this happen,” Forby said. “State schools need state funding. Period.

“What is infuriating about this situation is that the governor has a plan on his desk that would give SIU 100 percent of the funding it needs right now. Due to his inaction we are now forced to pass emergency funds that only release 30 percent of the funds they need for the fiscal year.”

Senate Democrats sent Senate Bill 2046 to Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this month that also includes higher education and MAP grant funding. The measure would also give him the financial authority to release funding for things such as Amtrak and the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.

The measure, Senate Bill 2059, passed the Senate Friday with a vote of 55 to 0. It now goes to the governor’s desk for consideration.


Category: Uncategorised

2016 Legislative Survey

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Capitol Office:
417 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706 
(217) 782-5509

District Office:
903 West Washington, Suite 3
Benton, IL 62812 
(618) 439-2504


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