SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –State Rep. Jay Hoffman D-Swansea, recently backed a plan to fund critical state services for the groups hit hardest by the state’s two-year budget impasse, including the elderly, domestic violence survivors and the state’s public colleges and universities.
“As a state, we have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable residents,” Hoffman said. “This proposal ensures the continued operation of many vital services, including breast cancer screenings, domestic violence shelters and after-school programs for at-risk youth.”
The lifeline budget Hoffman supported, House Bill 109, uses state dollars sitting in a fund created for the specific use of funding human services and higher education, two categories excluded from the court orders or continuing appropriations mandated during the budget impasse.
These funds cannot be used for any other purpose and exist to sustain state colleges and universities and social services such as Meals on Wheels, domestic violence shelters and programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. The damage from the state budget impasse has hit social service providers particularly hard, as a recent survey of human service agencies conducted by the United Way of Illinois found almost 70 percent of agencies had received no or only partial payment for state services delivered in 2017. That is double the percent of agencies receiving no or only partial payment for state services according to the same survey last year.
“The funds that are allocated with this ‘lifeline’ budget are legally required to be spent on higher education and social services,” Hoffman said. “As we continue to work toward a year-long budget, it would be unconscionable to withhold funds that are specifically earmarked for the service providers and higher education institutions that have been devastated by the budget impasse. While I think it’s important that we offer temporary relief, I know that it is not enough, and I will continue to work toward passing a full-year budget that protects vital services, eliminates waste and adequately funds all levels of education.”
Rep Jay Hoffman
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