JOLIET — As each day without a proper state budget passes, the financial condition of the state’s human services providers grows more and more perilous. Today, State Senator Pat McGuire has urged the governor to sign legislation that will free hundreds of millions of dollars for these beleaguered providers.
“In late April and early May, the General Assembly hit on a winning, bipartisan formula to get sorely needed funds to higher education and human services, the two parts of the current fiscal year budget that are stuck,” McGuire said. “The governor signed the bill for higher ed but so far refuses to sign the bill for human services. For the sake of Illinois’ most vulnerable residents, Gov. Rauner needs to sign Senate Bill 2038 right away.”
Painful decisions have been made by human service providers all across the state, including in the 43rd District. Pam Heavens, executive director for Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living, says the focus must be on those who receive these vital services.
“Due to the budget impasse, Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living was forced to lay off a full-time staff member and institute furlough days. Human service providers are suffering due to the impasse; some may close,” Heavens said. “The never-ending finger pointing must stop. Focus must be on ensuring that the most vulnerable citizens have access to the services that keep them healthy and strong.”
Senate Bill 2038 provides about $700 million in emergency funding to human services providers who contract with the state of Illinois to assist ill seniors, survivors of sexual assault, homeless youth, and persons fighting mental illness and substance abuse. The measure was sent to the governor May 18 after passing the Senate and House with “yes” votes from every Democrat and Republican voting.
Senator Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto another appropriations bill from the Legislature:
“Gov. Rauner’s stubborn refusal to propose a balanced budget – a duty outlined in the Illinois Constitution – has left Illinois to drift like a ship with no captain. “In the absence of actual leadership from the governor’s office, the General Assembly for months now has been forced to act unilaterally as we try to propose budget bills that the governor might sign to help residents who have been left to suffer without the state’s assistance. It’s a frustrating exercise.
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) issued the statement below following Gov. Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2046, which would have provided funding for universities, community colleges and MAP grants.“The governor is sending a confusing message to Illinois businesses and taxpayers. While he says that improving Illinois’ business climate is his top priority, eliminating funding for higher education does exactly the opposite.“Over 60 percent of jobs in the current work force require a college-level education. Cutting these funds for colleges and preventing students from being able to further their education after high school will have a long-term impact not only on their future, but on the future of our economy.“The governor and legislative leaders need to drop the partisan rhetoric, get to Springfield and negotiate a budget that protects working-class families before the destruction done to Illinois is irreversible.”
PLAINFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement after the governor vetoed Senate Bill 2046, a budget bill designed to get needed money to public universities and community colleges, human service agencies and other vital programs:I am disappointed that the governor vetoed a plan that would invest in our students, protect our seniors and help the addicted and homeless. When he ran for governor, he called for a more compassionate and competitive Illinois. This is a good goal to have, but he won’t make Illinois a better place by cutting off aid to students and closing the doors at human services agencies.Despite this veto, I remain committed to continuing to vote for budget proposals that will keep education, social services and other core services operating.
CHICAGO – In May, the General Assembly sent a human services emergency funding bill, with strong bipartisan support, to the governor's desk. Senate Appropriations II Chairman Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) released the following statement urging the governor to be timely by signing the measure into law.
"Illinoisans should not wait unnecessarily for the state to take action when a human services budget is sitting on the governor's desk. More than $700 million will help restore community mental health services, supportive housing, meals and care for seniors, and critical funding for cancer research.
"The time is now to stop the collapse of our social safety net. Put the people of Illinois first by signing this plan into law."
SPRINGFIELD – A bipartisan-backed human services emergency funding bill is sitting on the governor's desk. Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement, urging the governor to sign the plan into law:
"A human services funding plan is sitting on the governor's desk. The Senate and House worked in a bipartisan fashion to craft an emergency funding bill that will keep our state afloat.
“We are seeing in Chicago and across our state the devastating effects of not having a budget in place. Without critical programs like Redeploy Illinois, we will continue to see a rise in teen violence.
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate passed legislation today to help shore up Illinois’ desperate human services systems.
State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) voted to release more than $700 million to local government and non-profit agencies that provide services such as mental health care, drug addiction treatment and home-delivered meals for seniors. McGuire is a co-sponsor of the measure, SB 2038, which passed the Senate on a 55-0 vote.
“Tens of thousands of Will County residents who faced the loss of essential services will benefit from today’s action,” McGuire said. “Just as with recent funding for higher education, Democrats and Republicans came together. But just as with the higher education measure, this human services measure provides less than half of what the General Assembly one year ago authorized the governor to devote to helping people. We must keep working.”
Having passed both the House and Senate, SB 2038 awaits the governor’s signature.
Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) defends funding human service agencies for the FY2016 budget on a concurrence vote.
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ colleges and universities have begun receiving funding from the state for the first time since June thanks to a plan supported by Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) and signed by the governor. A similar plan to provide nearly $450 million to struggling human service providers, however, has yet to receive a vote in the House.
“Every day that goes by, another provider is that much closer to announcing staff layoffs, service interruptions or even closure,” Morrison said. “I urge the House to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and pass funding for our human service providers immediately.”
The Senate sent Senate Bill 2047, which passed without opposition, to the House on April 22. The proposal provides nearly $450 million in funding to a host of human service providers, including funding for autism services, sexual assault programs and mental health supportive housing.
“We came together to keep our colleges and universities open. Our human service providers deserve the same action,” Morrison said. “Funding for this plan is available – the money is sitting in an account in a dedicated fund. The state never stopped collecting taxes when the budget impasse began. Distributing these funds to the many agencies providing vital services to Illinoisans must be a top priority.”
Senate Bill 2047 is currently in the House Rules Committee awaiting action.
Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.
Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.
Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.
Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.
Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) argues in favor of funding human services on the Senate floor.
SPRINGFIELD — Today, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that closes an open wound in the 2016 budget.
Some 90 percent of the state budget is being spent because of various court orders and decrees. However, the 10 percent of the budget for higher education and many human services remains unfunded. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) joined his colleagues voting to fund the missing 10 percent.
“Our higher education and human service organizations are on the brink of collapse,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “We have given the governor yet another opportunity to stand with Illinois’ neediest college students and most vulnerable residents.
“I hope that he makes the right choice this time.”
In addition to funding MAP grants and operations for the state’s post-secondary schools, Senate Bill 2046 authorizes the governor to release over $470 million for the Department of Human Services to fund addiction treatment, mental health services and other necessary programs.
SB 2046, having passed the Illinois House on Tuesday, now goes to the governor’s desk.
SPRINGFIELD — A spending plan to restore human services and help shore up Illinois’ embattled higher education system state passed the Illinois Senate today.
Senate Bill 2059 authorizes the governor to fund programs and services not covered by the court orders and consent decrees that are propelling 90 percent of state spending. This 10 percent gap in the state budget has caused cutbacks in human services and endangered the future of state universities and needy students.
“This measure can restore Meals on Wheels. It supports the drug, mental health and veterans courts, which are more effective than imprisonment,” McGuire said. “And it signals to students awaiting MAP grants that the state plans to honor its obligation to them.”
Proponents of the legislation pointed to testimony of Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger in a hearing earlier Thursday of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, of which McGuire is a member.
“Comptroller Munger made clear that getting in the queue at her office is the essential first step toward a non-profit provider a student, or a vendor getting the funds promised to them,” McGuire said. “Passage of SB 2059 gives the governor the authority to prioritize human services and higher education in the payment line at the Comptroller’s office.”
The measure now goes to the House for approval. Passage there would send the bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his approval.
Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) issued the following statement in response to news that Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is embarking on mass program closures and layoffs as a result of the state budget impasse:
“There is no long-term gain to be found in destroying Illinois’ network of human services, yet that is exactly what is happening now. This is a disaster,” said Biss, chairman of the Illinois Senate Human Services Committee.
As Gov. Bruce Rauner celebrates his first year in office, he should reflect on how he has failed to live up to his promise of ensuring Illinois is a compassionate and competitive state, a group of Democratic state senators and human service providers urged Wednesday.
Flanked by providers who, along with their clients, bear the brunt of Gov. Rauner’s budget impasse with the General Assembly, state senators Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) called on the governor to stop holding the state’s poorest and most vulnerable residents hostage in pursuit of an anti-family, anti-worker agenda that lacks legislative support.
Southern Illinois is disproportionately affected by the state’s budget impasse, with numerous counties south of Interstate 70 reeling from the loss of mental and public health services, growing wait lists for treatment and increased uncertainty for families, children and seniors.
That was the alarming message from panels of social service and health care providers who testified before the Senate’s Human Services Committee last week at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, is chairman of the committee and traveled to Carbondale for the hearing. Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, joined Biss to listen to the providers.
Today the Senate passed Senate Bill 2046, which would give the governor authority to make payments to human service providers not already funded pursuant to court orders, distribute motor fuel tax proceeds to local governments and pay lottery winners.
For the past two days, Senator Daniel Biss (Chicago) led Senate hearings regarding delayed and missing state payments to social service groups who help the disabled and needy in Illinois live with dignity and get back on their feet.
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