Illinois’ reeling social services could get a lifeline from Springfield.
After getting emergency funds to higher education, lawmakers want to shift more than $400 million set aside for other purposes to pay social services providers. The Senate approved the measure unanimously and it now awaits a House vote.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said he prefers a full budget, but is open to emergency social services funding.
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“I do believe that there might be a short-term solution there,” Rauner said. “It’s important that we keep some human services and not allow a crisis to develop.”
State Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, stressed the importance of Illinois’ safety net for the less fortunate but said he is skeptical that House rank-and-file members will bypass leadership as they did when they partially funded higher education.
“I don’t know that there’s that opportunity again for rank-and-file, if you will, to take over a little bit,” Sandack said, “You’ve got to remember, it is a leader-driven – and in the House, it is a speaker-driven – process. No bill gets out of Rules or other committees unless Speaker [Madigan] wants it to.”
The House and Senate are scheduled to resume on Tuesday. Illinois is about to enter its 11th month without a budget.