January , 2019

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 SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) has voted for legislation the Senate passed to give relief to college and universities, low-income students and a wide variety of human services and public health programs. The House approved the measure yesterday, but the governor has already threatened to veto it.

“If the governor is going to continue holding the state and its most vulnerable residents hostage while he demands reforms that would hurt the middle class and aren’t proven to benefit anyone but large corporations and the wealthy, the least he can do is allow universities and service providers to present their bills to the Comptroller and get in line to be paid as soon as the money becomes available,” Collins said. “We’re in a state of emergency, with Chicago State set to close just 17 days from now and many social services and health care providers already shutting down, and it is the governor’s moral obligation to recognize this and provide relief by signing the measure we’re sending him.”

Chicago State University, which serves a student population that is disproportionately low-income, minority and non-traditional, has announced it will run out of money and close its doors – laying off hundreds of employees, from the president on down – on April 30. Because a large percentage of its students work and/or raise families, many will not be able to transfer to other schools farther from their homes and jobs.

Critical social services also remain unfunded. Senate Bill 2046, which has passed both chambers and now goes to the governor’s desk, allows state money to flow to human services, public health and public safety programs not currently funded under a court order or federal law.

“It is deplorable that at-risk youth in violence-prone communities, families struggling with homelessness, the mentally ill and the addicted, individuals with HIV/AIDS and women who have been victims of sexual assault continue to pay the price in this budget standoff,” Collins said. “I’m proud to vote for legislation that takes the pressure off of people who did not cause this crisis, and puts responsibility back where it belongs – on the people’s elected representatives, first and foremost the governor.”

Senate Bill 2046

·        Appropriates $3.9 billion ($3.1 billion from General Revenue Funds)

·        Funds public colleges and universities, including Chicago State University, which is scheduled to shut down and lay off all staff on April 30

·        Funds MAP grants (state assistance to low-income college students attending both public and private Illinois institutions of higher learning)

·        Funds human services, public safety and public health programs not currently funded under court orders and consent decrees; these include

o   Breast and cervical cancer screenings

o   Community mental health

o   The Community Care Program (in-home assistance for senior citizens)

o   Meals on Wheels for seniors

o   Homelessness prevention and services

o   Indigent burial

o   Local public health grants

o   School construction grants

o   Affordable housing

o   Lincoln’s Challenge Academy

o   Juvenile and Adult Redeploy Illinois (second-chance programs for non-violent offenders)

o   Services for victims of sexual assault

o   Afterschool programs and violence prevention programs for at-risk youth

o   Immigrant and refugee services

o   Respite services for caregivers of those with developmental disabilities

o   Addiction treatment programs

·        Includes back pay owed to some state employees

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