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Collins co-sponsors measure to restore critical social services

collins-sb274SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16) is proud to cosponsor legislation that would restore funding for essential social services, including help for families living with autism and payment for burying those whose loved ones cannot afford the expense. Yesterday, the Senate approved the legislation, which was drafted in response to the Rauner administration’s claim that a previous budget agreement fell $26 million short.

“This is the right way to negotiate a budget and ensure vulnerable individuals and their families continue to receive the assistance they need,” Collins said. “Cancelling grants with no notice and no transition plan was the wrong way, and I’m pleased that we are one step closer to reinstating this critical funding and taking a responsible approach to the budget.”

In late March, the General Assembly passed a compromise plan to revive vital programs and services, such as child care assistance, that had run out of money. The legislation relied on reallocating excess money from special-purpose state funds, plus a 2.25 percent across-the-board cut to most types of state spending. Collins and many of her colleagues understood this measure to be a comprehensive solution to the immediate shortfall, yet one week later, the governor’s office abruptly announced the suspension of an additional $26 million in funding for autism services, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, epilepsy treatment, programming for at-risk teens and burial expenses for the poor, among other areas.

“I will continue to advocate for solutions such as closing corporate tax loopholes and strengthening our tax base by investing in programs that break the cycle of poverty, and I will oppose cuts that reconcile the numbers on a short-term balance sheet but do long-term, irreparable damage to communities,” Collins said. “The legislation I co-sponsored will provide needed services and peace-of-mind for many residents, and I hope it also sends a signal that we will negotiate in good faith but will not accept a budget balanced on the backs of the disadvantaged.”

Senate Bill 274 now goes to the House for its consideration.

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins


16th District

Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions (Chairperson); Insurance; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Higher Education; Commerce and Economic Development; Public Health.

Biography: Full-time state legislator. Born December 10th in McComb, Mississippi. Studied journalism at Northwestern University; MA from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; MA in Human Services Administration from Spertus College; MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, June 2003. Former Emmy Award-nominated news editor at CBS-TV in Chicago, and 2001 Legislative Fellow with United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.