Ask your Senators to vote yes on House Bill 4165, the Dept of Human Services Budget
which passed the House yesterday.

Story on the yesterdays vote from Pantagraph in Bloomington below.


House begins approving budget

Kurt Erickson

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Democrats began approving pieces of a $36.3 billion spending plan
Tuesday, amping up their already tense face-off with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Although Democrats acknowledged their fiscal blueprint is more than $3 billion out of balance,
they said they hope to work with the governor in the coming months to raise taxes to pay for
the programs

“One of the things that stands out above everything is that we can’t cut ourselves out of the
mess that we’re in. The bottom line is there are going to have to be some revenues and some
kind of reductions in programs,” said state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago.

Rauner, a former private equity investor, has said he is open to considering tax increases to
help fill the budget hole, but he wants the General Assembly to sign off on a handful of pro-
business reforms in exchange.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said he opposes linking Rauner’s business-
friendly agenda to the budget.

The governor met behind closed doors with Republican lawmakers Tuesday. Afterwards,
Rauner would not answer questions from reporters about whether he’d veto the Democratic
budget plan.

One of the first pieces of the budget approved in the House passed on a 64-51 vote, which
is not enough to override a gubernatorial veto.

The spending plan being advanced by Democrats comes in response to Rauner’s budget,
which made deep cuts to Medicaid, higher education and other social service programs.

Madigan said Democrats who control the House and Senate crafted their own plan because
Rauner’s also was out of balance and didn’t reflect the priorities of Democratic lawmakers.

“The stuff that was sent to us was not balanced,” said state Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion.
“It was built upon assumptions that didn’t exist in law.”

While Rauner had wanted to cut Medicaid spending by $1.5 billion, the Democratic proposal
would keep funding levels flat.

It would reduce funding for other human service programs by $134 million, but would restore
funding cuts proposed by Rauner for adult dental care, autism programs and a program that
pays for the cost of burying poor people.

Rauner’s proposal to reduce assistance for wards of the state who are between ages 18 and
21 would be reversed, as was his plan to change eligibility rules for people who receive home
health services.

The plan, which is expected to move through the House and Senate over the next three days,
also calls for funding for schools and the state’s prison system to increase slightly. The plan
also keeps Amtrak funding at current levels.

Republicans balked at the proposal.

“I hope that some of these Democrats will break free from their Madigan allegiance and do
what the public wants us to do, which is reform the way in which we function as a state,” said
state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington.

State Sen. Adam Brown, R-Champaign, said Democrats were ignoring the Illinois Constitution,
which requires a balanced budget.

“They don’t account for that,” Brown said. “The governor wants to live within our means. The
speaker continues to play games.”

State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said Democrats need to take up some of Rauner’s
proposals in order to jump-start Illinois’ economy.

“Jobs have everything to do with the budget because without people working there are no
taxes being collected. When there’s no taxes being collected, you have to start talking about
cutting things,” Rose said.

Follow Kurt Erickson on Twitter @Illinois_Stage

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Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)