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.

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