Today is the final day of the regularly scheduled session for the Illinois General Assembly. Despite the fact that budget working groups, comprised of legislators from both the House and the Senate, have been meeting and discussing compromises, there is still no full budget on the table for either FY16 or FY17, which begins July 1st. However, several short-term and partial budget options have been proposed. While none of these options provides the long-term sustainability Illinois desperately needs, they would provide immediate relief in the short-term for many social service agencies and other service providers should they be enacted or passed.
SB 2038 appropriates $700 million in emergency funding for human services programs that continue to provide vital services without payment, like home visiting and Teen REACH. SB 2038 provides less than half of the funds these programs had expected to receive at the beginning of FY16, but this emergency funding would provide much needed short-term relief and allow these programs to keep their doors open. SB 2038 is necessary, but not sufficient without a full year, sustainable budget for FY16.
Status of SB 2038: SB 2038 passed unanimously out of both the House and the Senate two weeks ago and was sent to the Governor’s desk. It is still awaiting his signature.
Last week, the House passed SB 2048, which offers a spending plan to continue to fund government services that are not already covered by court orders and consent decrees. It’s important to note that this is not a budget bill or a budget plan. While the bill appropriates federal funds and about $13.5 billion in state general revenue funds, when combined with current court orders and consent decrees, the spending plan could create a funding shortfall of about $7 billion.
Status of SB 2048: SB 2048 passed the House but has not yet been voted on by the Senate. It remains unclear if the Senate will move forward on this bill.
Governor’s Stopgap Proposal
Today, the Governor proposed a short-term stopgap budget to fund schools and various human services not currently being paid, including domestic violence and homeless services. The intent is to provide at least 6 months’ worth of funds.
Status of the proposal: It is unlikely that the Governor’s proposal will be voted on today, but Illinois Action for Children will keep you up-to-date on its progress.
For a full account of session, please join us for our upcoming Statewide Policy Caucus on June 28th in Bloomington-Normal.
If you have questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.