Lawmakers Pass Funding for Human Services; Budget Progress Reported

May 12, 2016

Illinois lawmakers approved $700 million to partially finance various human service programs that haven't received funding since last summer because of the budget stalemate.

The proposal would fund 46 percent of what human service programs expected to receive had the state budget taken effect July 1.

No one in the House voted against the measure Thursday, but three lawmakers voted ``present'' because they wanted some money to go to prisons or other programs. The Senate later sent the bill to the governor. 

The bill would use $450 million from a fund dedicated to human services and $250 million from other special funds.

There are rumblings of progress on an overall budget as well.

The measure would open the spigot to autism, AIDS and elderly support programs. They'd receive nearly half their state funding.

Although Republicans voted for it ... the governor's office is signaling problems with the plan.

It comes as legislators who've been privately meeting say they've drafted a possible scenario for a balancing the budget next year - using both spending cuts and tax increases.

Rep. Fred Crespo, a Democrat from Hoffman Estates, is careful about what that means.

"There's no agreement. I mean, we made it very clear that whatever's out there does not mean that this is we're proposing. All we presented was a scenario that's balanced."

Some lawmakers say it at least shows they can work together.