SPRINGFIELD – Members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus expressed support for a number of proposals outlined in the governor’s budget address Wednesday. 

“We need a budget that addresses the lack of immigration rights, health and education equity, economic justice for workers, and proper representation for Latino communities,” said joint Latino Caucus Chair Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). “One of our top priorities in this year’s budget is to ensure that equitable opportunities are created for Latino communities in Illinois to live a healthy and sustainable life.”

Latino Caucus members were pleased to hear the governor commitment to increasing education and health equity. The governor is proposing a $350 million investment to HOME Illinois, a program through the Department of Human Services that targets the prevention of homelessness, provides crisis response, expands housing support and increases job opportunities for the homeless. To ensure equity in education, the proposed budget would continue the $350 million increase toward the evidence based funding model for k-12 education.

In their budget response, the caucus’ leadership emphasized the need to work with the governor to address racial inequities and disparities in Latino communities. The caucus strives to set goals that combat the lack of access to quality health care, affordable housing, sustainable job opportunities, quality education resources and the lack of representation in Latino communities.

"Our budget is a moral document that reflects our values as a state. As we begin to negotiate this significant legislation, Illinois' Latino communities deserve to be prioritized on all fronts, but especially those related to education, health care, and workers rights," said state Rep. Dagmara Avelar, House chair of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus. "As a caucus, we are committed to crafting a budget centered in equity and inclusion so that all Latinos, regardless of immigration status, have the resources they need to thrive."

In the months to come, the Latino Caucus looks forward to negotiating legislation to provide solutions that are more equitable for Latino communities in education, health care, housing, and job sustainability, while addressing policy goals designed to strengthen and uplift underserved communities across the state.