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Human Services

  • McGuire votes for human services and higher ed lost in budget gap

    McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — A spending plan to restore human services and help shore up Illinois’ embattled higher education system state passed the Illinois Senate today.

    Senate Bill 2059 authorizes the governor to fund programs and services not covered by the court orders and consent decrees that are propelling 90 percent of state spending. This 10 percent gap in the state budget has caused cutbacks in human services and endangered the future of state universities and needy students.

    “This measure can restore Meals on Wheels. It supports the drug, mental health and veterans courts, which are more effective than imprisonment,” McGuire said. “And it signals to students awaiting MAP grants that the state plans to honor its obligation to them.”

    Proponents of the legislation pointed to testimony of Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger in a hearing earlier Thursday of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, of which McGuire is a member.

    “Comptroller Munger made clear that getting in the queue at her office is the essential first step toward a non-profit provider a student, or a vendor getting the funds promised to them,” McGuire said. “Passage of SB 2059 gives the governor the authority to prioritize human services and higher education in the payment line at the Comptroller’s office.”

    The measure now goes to the House for approval. Passage there would send the bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his approval.

  • Biss: Only a budget can stop unraveling of Illinois’ social safety net

    senior home mrSen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) issued the following statement in response to news that Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is embarking on mass program closures and layoffs as a result of the state budget impasse:

    “There is no long-term gain to be found in destroying Illinois’ network of human services, yet that is exactly what is happening now. This is a disaster,” said Biss, chairman of the Illinois Senate Human Services Committee.

  • Senators, SEIU: Rauner's first year hurts poorest, most vulnerable (VIDEO)

    seiu pr martinezAs Gov. Bruce Rauner celebrates his first year in office, he should reflect on how he has failed to live up to his promise of ensuring Illinois is a compassionate and competitive state, a group of Democratic state senators and human service providers urged Wednesday.

    Flanked by providers who, along with their clients, bear the brunt of Gov. Rauner’s budget impasse with the General Assembly, state senators Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) called on the governor to stop holding the state’s poorest and most vulnerable residents hostage in pursuit of an anti-family, anti-worker agenda that lacks legislative support.

  • Human services cuts devastating Southern Illinois

    biss forby carbondaleSouthern Illinois is disproportionately affected by the state’s budget impasse, with numerous counties south of Interstate 70 reeling from the loss of mental and public health services, growing wait lists for treatment and increased uncertainty for families, children and seniors.

    That was the alarming message from panels of social service and health care providers who testified before the Senate’s Human Services Committee last week at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, is chairman of the committee and traveled to Carbondale for the hearing. Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, joined Biss to listen to the providers.

  • Senate passes human services funding (AUDIO)

    biss raoul sb2046Today the Senate passed Senate Bill 2046, which would give the governor authority to make payments to human service providers not already funded pursuant to court orders, distribute motor fuel tax proceeds to local governments and pay lottery winners.

    For the past two days, Senator Daniel Biss (Chicago) led Senate hearings regarding delayed and missing state payments to social service groups who help the disabled and needy in Illinois live with dignity and get back on their feet.

  • Biss demands clarity on state payments from Comptroller's Office

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