Illinois General Assembly passes roughly $700 million for social services, awaits governor action

Rishika Dugyala, Assistant City Editor

A bill releasing about $700 million to social services unanimously passed through both houses of the Illinois legislature on Thursday.

The funds would help social services that have gone nearly a year without their full shares of state funding. The bill will now be presented to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“While the fight for full funding is not yet over, today’s action is an encouraging sign and a lifeline extended to a wide variety of vital services for our at-risk youth, our food-insecure seniors and other vulnerable residents,” Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) said in a news release. “If the governor signs this measure into law, it will finally provide relief to organizations that have been working without pay to serve the ‘least of these,’ even as they themselves have been held hostage.”

The legislation would fund homelessness prevention, affordable housing and youth employment programs, the release said. It would also offer money for breast and cervical cancer screenings and meals for low-income seniors.

The governor’s office said in an email to The Daily that the Illinois Office of Management and Budget raised the issue that the legislation was ineffectively drafted and contained provisions that would prevent numerous social service providers from receiving money.

Because of this, the office said the bill will need to be amended and the payments will be delayed.

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