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Human service programs partial funding passes General Assembly

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A stopgap measure that was passed by the Illinois General Assembly on Thursday partially funded human service programs that have gone without state support since July 1, 2015.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2047, includes more than $670 million in resources from the Commitment to Human Services fund. This money would partially fund human service programs that have not been covered by a court order or consent decree.

“I am grateful for the opportunity I had today to vote to fund services that are absolutely vital to the quality of life of my constituents and all Illinoisans, including mental health care, addiction treatment, meals for the elderly, rehabilitation for ex-offenders and of course education and mentoring for our most precious resource, our youth,” said Senator Jacqueline Collins of Chicago.

“The sad reality is that many providers have already closed their doors or laid off staff, so our task now is to build on the trust renewed by today’s compromise so we can rebuild the infrastructures that give hope to struggling individuals, families and communities.”

Senate Democrats have continued to advocate that human services be considered in any stopgap budget. Under Thursday’s bipartisan proposal, programs including The Autism Program, breast and cervical screenings and youth employment programs, will receive stopgap funding.

“Human service providers, in particular, have suffered beyond reason as the state budget stalemate dragged on, and I am pleased that some help may be on its way to them very soon,” said Evanston Senator Daniel Biss.

The legislature will continue to negotiate a full budget for human services and other state services.