Senate passes funding for human service programs

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) voted with a strong bipartisan majority to pass legislation May 12 appropriating $714 million for human service programs.            

“This isn’t ideal, it doesn’t represent full funding for these programs, but it’s an important step,” said Sen. Syverson. “We have to make sure programs that benefit our most vulnerable residents don’t close down due to lack of funding.”

Senate Bill 2038 spends $456.8 million from the Commitment to Human Services Fund, a special fund that collected a percentage of revenue from the 2010 income tax hike. The remaining balance comes from several other miscellaneous state funds, but the entire package is based on existing revenue.

The Senate had previously passed a smaller version of the appropriation legislation, but more funding was added when the bill moved to the House. Sen. Syverson noted that the appropriation represents much less than what many human service programs require for the full fiscal year.

“We still have to come together on a full and balanced budget that includes adequate human services funding or this will all be for nothing,” said Sen. Syverson. “I hope we can continue the bipartisan momentum from this legislation and use that in the ongoing budget negotiations.”

Senate Bill 2038 now heads to the Governor for his signature.

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