HIV-positive mothers and their unborn babies are benefiting from an 11th-hour infusion of federal funding that saved an Illinois nonprofit from closing due to the state budget impasse.
Anne Statton, executive director of the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (PACPI), said approximately $500,000 in available federal funds was released to the organization by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The funds will cover outstanding invoices for contracted services PACPI performed between July 2015 and March 2016, Statton said.
PACPI, which works to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmissions, depends on IDPH for about 85 percent of its funding. Currently, the organization has state contracts that collectively total about $845,000.
Without the federal funding, PACPI would have been forced to shut down in October.
With the state budget stalemate nearing the one-year mark, former Illinois Republican Gov. Jim Edgar made a plea Tuesday for "civility," "compromise" and "compassion" in Springfield.
Speaking in Chicago, Edgar said the "best public policy comes out of compromise," explaining that "you can't get things done if you're not willing to meet your adversaries halfway."
"We ought to have checks and balances, but we shouldn't have shouting matches," he added at the "Illinois: Vision for the Future" event, hosted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform at the Standard Club.
Edgar, who became governor in 1991 and served two terms, said Illinois is currently in the "worst shape" he seen over the 50 years he's been around state government.
"We have so many people out there hurting because government's not solving the problem," he stressed.