The Illinois House approved a $700 million stopgap spending bill for human services that have gone unfunded during the state budget stalemate.
The money would come from various special funds. Some $450 million would be allocated from the "Commitment to Human Services Fund" and $250 would be used as funds for special efforts, including affordable housing and foreclosure prevention. Under the legislation, social service providers would receive 46 percent of the state funding they received during the 2015 fiscal year.
State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) introduced the stopgap measure, which now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was among the lawmakers who wanted funding for prisons and other agencies covered under the stopgap bill. For this reason, Durkin voted present on the legislation.
UPDATE (4:58 p.m.): The Illinois Republican Party is blasting House Democrats over the lack of funding included in the human services appropriation bill for Department of Corrections facilities.
"House Democrats today chose to put Mike Madigan's political war ahead of public safety and what is good for their own districts," Illinois GOP spokesman Steven Yaffe said in a statement. "They rejected a reasonable Republican amendment that would have provided critical emergency funding for state correctional institutions. It's outrageous that House Democrats are willing to put prison workers and public safety at risk just to avoid crossing Mike Madigan."
UPDATE (5:09 p.m.): Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said the stopgap human services funding measure "is by no means a victory lap for anyone." However, he said, it represents a move "in the right direction." Here is Cullerton's full statement:
This gets needed funding to programs that care for our elderly, disabled and others victimized by Governor Rauner's budget vetoes. Senate Democrats have time and again tried to give the governor the ability to fund these vital services. Hopefully, he will sign this bipartisan plan.
Make no mistake, more needs to be done. This is, at best, a step in the right direction. It is by no means a victory lap for anyone.
I hope the governor will do the right thing and sign this legislation as soon as it hits his desk.