Sidebar Menu

latino caucus 021821As the Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus prepares for the negotiations during budget season, they look forward to collaborating with Governor Pritzker to devise a series of strategies anchored in addressing the chronic fiscal and structural issues faced by our state in both spending plans and revenue generation. This year presents additional layers of constraints and opportunities as the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened awareness of systemic racism call on public servants to be more precise and deliberate with mitigating impact and reconciling past harm.

The Latino Caucus especially looks forward to continued partnership with the Governor's Office in the areas that greatly impact over two million Illinoisans who identify as Latinx, nearly 750,000 individuals who are immigrants and/or refugees, and an estimated 324,000 who are undocumented from Latin America-all who count on our ingenuity and commitment to protect basic elements of dignified life. We are prioritizing building on the following areas this budget cycle:

 

  • Additional immigrant integration investments that have literally been lifelines for individuals and families locked out of federal relief funds for rental assistance and cash relief;
  • Expanded health care for undocumented elders who can now meet basic health needs through expansion of state appropriated Medicaid;
  • Targeted investments in education to close the digital divide, expand connectivity, and protect educators through resources for increased safety and health protocols while still contributing to the goal of increasing $350 million to the evidence-based funding formula to meet the educational promise to two million school-age children and young people who have endured a pandemic like none other;
  • Increased investments in the most proactive and financially savvy area in public services—early childhood, especially as they await recommendations from the governor's Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding about the cost, governance and mechanisms to manifest a comprehensive and coordinated birth to five system;
  • Extending the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and expanding rent/mortgate relief so that all Illinois families, especially those living on the margins, have the basic human dignity of shelter preserved during this mounting economic crisis; and
  • A continued commitment to fortifying planned capital projects to aid in a recovery that is especially timely and meaningful as we turn the corner of the pandemic.

The Latino Caucus stands ready to further discuss ideas on how to leverage federal dollars, expand the revenue base, and facilitate efficiencies to better serve the people of Illinois. Lastly, the calls for transformative change amplified this past summer and fall demanding a deliberate commitment to racial justice fuels our resolve to situate areas of focus in the broader work of facilitating a present and future Illinois centered in our shared humanity. As such, the Latino Caucus is collecting stories and videos from the community about how COVID-19 has affected jobs, finances, housing, education, and health of families across Illinois throughout budget negotiations. Email messages and/or videos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to add your voice to the budget discussion.