This bill would fund community grants including The Autism Program, Life Span, respite care and much more.
Great editorial by the Southern Illinoisan.
Voice of The Southern: Gov. Rauner, sign SB2038
The governor wants a “clean” 2016 and 2017 budget bill. So do we. So do you.
The governor has grown tired of one chamber or the other passing an appropriations bill without regard to how it fits into the state’s whole financial picture. We understand. When state voters elected Rauner in 2014, it was primarily in reaction to years and years – no, make that decades and decades – of status quo dedication to spending more than we take in.
And yet, the governor has proposed increased state support for K-12 Illinois schools and late last month signed the higher education stopgap spending bill designed to keep state universities and community colleges afloat through the summer. Every state expense category has received some level of appropriation for the current 2016 fiscal year, except of course those areas of human services that support those most in need.
Why is it that those most without a voice in the political process are the ones last in line to receive necessary funding? Silly question. They are last in line to receive funding PRECISELY BECAUSE they are those without a voice.
A $700 million human services “stopgap” appropriations bill – Senate Bill 2038 – passed both houses of the legislature last week with broad bi-partisan support. Our Republican senator, Dave Luechtefeld, and our Democratic senator, Gary Forby, were sponsors of the bill. It passed in the House by a 111-0 vote and passed the Senate by a 56-0 vote. It was sent to the governor’s desk on Wednesday, where it continues to sit.
We urge the governor to sign SB2038 bright and early tomorrow morning.
Because all 167 “yay” votes in the General Assembly realize that the $700 million contains zero dollars from the state’s General Revenue Fund. That’s correct: the out-of-balance state revenue and expense picture is in no way impacted by this bill. It’s money that MUST be spent on human services.
$450 million comes from a dedicated “Commitment to Human Services Fund” while the remaining $250 million comes from other state and federal (pass-through) funds. Ironic that the Governor is hesitant to release money from a “Commitment to Human Services” fund, don’t you think? Perhaps a commitment to “winning” has clouded his sight.
The bill includes funding – albeit it at a 46-cents-on-the-dollar rate, for the following: sexual assault treatment and prevention, veteran’s rehabilitation, community-based services to youth, cancer screenings, services to the elderly and a host of others. The bill also funds costs associated with the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center for its Methamphetamine Pilot Program.
Many, if not most, of the funded programs have been shown to reduce costs associated with poor health, homelessness, drug abuse and recidivism. Those that receive these services do not have the financial resources to hire lobbyists that will keep their issues prominent or allow their collective voices to be heard.
They must rely on their legislators and their governor to do the right thing. Our legislators have done their part. We urge you to call the governor’s office – 217-782-0244 – and demand that he do the same.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423