An Example of How State Government Doesn’t Work

Why does it take an elected official to make State government work the way it should?

Why can’t citizens who make a reasonable request be provided the service State law says they should be able to get?

My former legislative assistant had a name for it:

Bureaucratic withholding power

It’s probably not unique to Illinois, but it certainly is on display in State governmental agencies.

Allen Skillicorn

Having not been a State Representative for sixteen years, I’m pretty much out of the constituent service business.

But when a neighbor told me of the trouble her daughter with a middle school age child (and no child support and unable to find a job for fourteen months) was having trouble getting what used to be called Food Stamps, I knew what to do.

I suggested getting in touch with State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, who represents the third of Crystal Lake where the daughter lives.

Let me share the following which is based on part of the email I received after Skillicorn made a phone call:

Your email to Alan’s office worked a miracle.

The next morning after you had emailed Alan Skillecorn, Julie from Alan’s office called our daughter.

Julie asked her to fax to her the agency’s letter denying her application.

Later, just before 5 PM, our daughter received a voicemail from someone at the agency.

The message was to have her parents call him.

The next morning the mother called the person who worked at the agency, who turned out to be a social worker.

The agency had requested letters from the parents three times, so he wanted to talk to the parents.

Very nice, apologized several times.

The social worker said he wanted to assure us that he had approved their duaghter’s application.

An hour later he called back to say he had decided to expedite her request and she could pick up the LINK card.

Again he apologized.

You emailed Alan’s office on Tuesday at dinner time and Thursday morning our daughter was approved for a LINK card.

After weeks of getting nowhere, it was settled.

Friday morning when I took my daughter to pick up the LINK card, the same rude woman was at the desk my daughter had seen previously told her she was not approved and was not even in the system!

I informed her the social worker had approved it.

She told my daughter to sit down as she would have to wait and meet with a social worker.

Fifteen minutes later (no, my daughter did not meet anyone), all of a sudden my daughter was in the computer and approved.

This was my first experience dealing with the “system” and it was very frustrating.

How does someone who is “ditzy” or very ill ever get through the process?

My daughter had to wait just a few days for the money to be loaded onto her card.

She and her daughter then went to Aldi’s and bought $100 in groceries.

She was thrilled and we were relieved.

What an indictment of State government.

So, some final advice to those having poblems with State government:

When State government does something stupid, call your State Rep. or State Senator


An Example of How State Government Doesn’t Work — 20 Comments

  1. Maybe the applicant was too White.

    Illegal aliens have no trouble getting on these rolls and staying on them forever! If they die or move away …. the EBTfood stamp cards are ‘inherite’ by family and friends …. and Lordy the cool stuff they ‘buy’ …. top cuts of steak and even cocktail shrimp with cocktail sauce of course. I’ve seen them do it numerous times at the grocery line!!!!!

    They have booklets that spell it all out out about who to cry to ……they don’t have to prove anything … not even how the hell they came here!

    Here’s something to think about:

  2. Always love it when people claim that they’ve seen people buy lobster and shrimp with SNAP cards “numerous times”. How do you know that they are on SNAP and that they are “illegal”?

    People rarely buy expensive “luxury foods” with SNAP cards because you don’t get all that much money and they won’t waste their entire allotment on lobster. And no, undocumented people do not qualify for SNAP. The rest of your post pure racist crap. But if you have some actual proof of anything you just posted feel free to post it.

  3. And it’s the elected official’s job to intervene on behalf of his or her constituents so why is this special?

  4. Hey ‘Lil Audrey, I know bc I see the EBT snap cards used! With my own eyes.

    So, don’t tell me it’s impossible.

    Ask any checkout clerk!

    I’m not saying they all do it or do it every blasted time, but I’ve seen it on too many occasions.

  5. “Truth” Minutemen? LOL!!! You really need to find a better quality of people to hang around with.

  6. It would seem that we have yet another unhinged Liberal trolling this blog.

    If there’s one thing they fear above all else, it’s the truth.

  7. Maybe it’s me, but quoting a racist white supremacist blog doesn’t count as “proof.”

    I’ve worked in social services and the vast majority of SNAP recipients are like Cal’s example- decent folks who need temporary help.

    And incidentally, Snap cards are almost impossible to tell from a regular bank ATM card.

    Nice try

  8. “Both Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings have warned that Illinois could be downgraded again, while investors are already demanding higher yields on its bonds than they do from borrowers that are on the cusp of junk, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

  9. I was referring to the reference to the Illinois junk bond status in some paper.

    I don’t know the paper, or whether it is white supremacist.

    I do know that when events and data are discredited by emotional ad hominem accusations to steer discussion away from productive topics (Illinois junk bond status is of impact to all of us), it indicates the protestor is either too lazy to research the topic themselves, or has a personal interest in diverting productive discussion.

  10. Several years ago a Woodstock resident found herself at the wrong end of a premium increase on her auto insurance; like, about 25% worth.

    She told me she had called her State Rep for help and had gotten none.

    I suggested she write a letter to the President of the insurance company and send copies to the Insurance Commissioners of Illinois, New York (the state with the toughest insurance laws in the country) and of the state where the insurance company home office was located.

    The insurance company’s president acted and uncovered an Illinois state law that prohibits an insurance company from jacking up premiums, if the Insured has suffered a major Life Event that trashed her credit. She had. Her premium was returned to the previous amount.

    When she called to thank me, she told me I had helped her far more than the State Rep had.


    That article suggests snap fraud (“trafficking” by merchants ) is 1.3%, which translates to around $1 billion (if snap program is $75 million).

    Connecting dots I would take to mean arriving at a conclusion by following a path of logic based upon data from reliable sources.
    Our country has come to its present state by deviating from connecting dots.

    No matter what our individual emotions lead us to believe, it is not productive to be blindly adversarial to any given piece of information based upon its source.

  12. It is not the job of a State Rep to represent constituents in business matters that don’t involve state agencies.

  13. Susan, these days the credibility of the “source” is very important. There are several interesting facts in the Tribune article that T2P should pay attention to.

    Fraud has gone down. The average monthly benefit is $125.

    And, “every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates up to $9 in economic activity, according to the USDA”.

  14. The reader’s emotional assessment of credibility of the source should not be considered carte-blanche to refute any assertion or dismiss/divert a serious discussion.

    This blog is unusual in that it allows all viewpoints to post.

    But it is a serious blog and those who are concerned with problem-solving will not be diverted by such hollow tactical ploys.

    Some new readers have discovered this site expecting something else, a picture painted by those whose personal-interest agenda may be disrupted by in-depth scrutiny of specific issues related to use of public funds.

    Some come with an adversarial attitude, but discover they shall stay with an attitude of working on a team of those who want to change an inequitable status quo.

    Change is accomplished by drilling down into specific details of specific budgets or line items on budgets, or finding out details about special privileges and advantages granted to insiders which are not made available to the taxpayer community at large.

    In case you are an open-minded citizen motivated to solve the crushing problems we are facing related to public spending far in excess of the means of our community, as evidenced by our tax rates, I hope you will continue to read and comment , and focus on specific problem solving tactics.

    Your time could be well spent focusing on research of a discrete topic of waste, profligacy, inefficiency, or corruption involving public money spent by this County, or any township, municipality, school district, or other taxing agency within.

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