There was no debate or discussion as both parties in the Senate supported SB 2042
yesterday. The bill now move to the House for action next week. House members want to
make sure nothing is left out of this proposal. The Arc had talked to Senator Steans
concerned that early intervention, assistive technology and other important services were
not in SB 2042. We will continue to work on this.
The legislation does not fund grant services such as respite, The Autism Program or The
Arc’s Life Span Program.
The Arc certainly supports this legislation yet we are still without a state budget. The courts
and band aid fixes like this legislation do not get us to a state budget.
Tell your legislators we need a state budget that fully funds disability services. We need new
revenue not budget cuts.
Rauner-backed proposal clears Illinois Senate
Measure lets state spend $5 billion to aid social services
By Monique Garcia and Kim Geiger Chicago Tribune
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would give a
stalemated state government the power to spend roughly $5 billion in federal money to
fund programs like energy assistance for the poor after those dollars were put on hold.
The 57-0 vote represented a rare area of budget agreement between Democrats who
control the chamber and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who supports the proposal,
according to an aide.
The state lost broad authority to cut checks when the new budget year began July 1 without
a full spending plan in place after Rauner vetoed most of the budget Democrats sent him
that was more than $3 billion out of balance.
The governor did sign off on funding so elementary and high schools can open in the fall,
and a patchwork of existing laws coupled with various court orders have kept cash flowing to
about 80 percent of state government. Left unfunded are social service agencies that care
for some of the state’s most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, people with disabilities
and those with addictions.
Those agencies rely on a combination of state and federal dollars, and some have been
forced to curb services, lay off workers and take out lines of credit as they try to make ends
Freeing up federal money is nothing short of a lifeline while the budget stalemate continues,
said Dalitso Sulamoyo, president of the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies,
which represents about 40 social service groups across the state.
“It’s critical to our continued operations. It would have been a waste to leave those federal
dollars unspent,” Sulamoyo said. “That’s progress compared to everything else we’ve seen
these past few months.”
While the measure would give social service providers a much-needed infusion of cash, it
also relieves another pressure point that could have forced Rauner and Democrats to reach
agreement on a full budget.
The sides have been at loggerheads because Rauner has linked his policy agenda — to prop
up businesses but weaken unions — with the budget-making process. Democrats argue that
his ideas would undermine the middle class.
Money that would be freed up under the plan includes $330 million to help low-income families
pay their electric bills, $275 million for job training, $304 million to support domestic violence
victims, $176 million to help those with disabilities live independently, $312 million for breast
and cervical cancer screenings, HIV testing and immunization services, and $98 million to
deliver meals for the elderly and prevent abuse.
The measure goes to the House, where a spokesman for Speaker Michael Madigan said the
chamber would consider it next week because members want more time to make sure nothing
is left out.
The vote on the proposal came as the Senate returned to the Capitol after taking a break for
several weeks. T
he chamber also is expected to vote on a measure that would roll back an automatic 2 percent
pay hike lawmakers received beginning July 1. The House moved to repeal the salary bump
last week after pressure from Rauner, who argued that legislators shouldn’t get a raise while
the budget goes unresolved. firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423