A $700 million stopgap spending bill to cover human services hard hit by the budget stalemate unanimously passed a House committee Wednesday.
The measure, which would steer money to programs for seniors and people with mental illness, among other services, requires no general revenue funds. Rather, the money would come from various special funds, including the "Commitment to Human Services Fund."
The Human Services Appropriations Committee approved the legislation, which was proposed by state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago).
"Voices for Illinois Children supports the appropriation bill as emergency funding to human service and public safety programs that are dying," Emily Miller, the group's director of policy and advocacy, told Capitol Fax. "The bill appropriates money from special funds that have existing cash balances. That existing cash can be used to prevent very real suffering in the very short term. It is not acceptable as a substitution for a fully funded year long budget. We encourage lawmakers to continue to work toward a long term revenue solution to our budget crisis."
The state has been operating without a full budget since July 1. A range of human services have gone unfunded during the budget impasse.