AFC secures legislative wins despite budget impasse

June 1, 2017

As the Illinois spring legislative session ends, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) celebrates its legislative accomplishments, despite enduring a third year without passage of a state budget. Illinois has now gone 700 days and counting without passing a positive, people-first budget. As the state moves into another year without a responsible economic plan in place, the most vulnerable members of our community continue to feel these effects as numerous human services organizations are at risk of closure and vital programs, such as HIV testing and services, remain underfunded. 

New evidence of the dangers of underfunding state health services recently emerged; new data from the Illinois Department of Public Health found that nearly 250 fewer people with HIV were identified during the budget impasse, exemplifying the necessity for a state budget and continued legislative action.

“As we end a third legislative session without a state budget, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago remains committed to defending the needs of Illinois’s most vulnerable populations,” declared AFC President and CEO John Peller. “Although we are disappointed in Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state legislature’s inability to pass a positive budget, AFC is still proud to have contributed to the passage of several pieces of impactful legislation in Springfield.”

Among those legislative wins include:

  • HB 2800, Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) & Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) – Amending the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act, HB 2800 adds a third-trimester HIV test for pregnant women in addition to the first trimester test. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women most vulnerable to HIV or living in an area of high prevalence of HIV should be given a repeat test in the third trimester of pregnancy. HB 2800 passed through the House and Senate and awaits Gov. Rauner’s signature.
  • HB 1785, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) & Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) – Amending the Vital Records Act, HB 1785 allows transgender individuals to change their gender on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity without undergoing surgery. Many transgender individuals cannot afford or choose not to undergo gender reassignment, and this bill will allow them to live as their authentic selves. HB 1785 passed the House and Senate awaits Gov. Rauner’s signature.
  • HB 40, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) & Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) – HB 40 strikes a dangerous “trigger” provision in Illinois’ abortion law to affirm that the state will not revert to pre-Roe v. Wade illegal abortion. Regardless of what happens legally in the Supreme Court in a Trump administration, women’s health care in Illinois will remain protected. HB 40 also allows Illinois to use state funds to provide women with health assistance funds that cover the full range of pregnancy-related care. HB 40 passed through the House and Senate and awaits Gov. Rauner’s signature.

“AFC is grateful to everyone who continued fighting for Illinoisans in need during this session,” said Dan Frey, AFC’s director of government relations. “From legislative allies and coalition partners to our many advocates, we’re so grateful for everyone’s contributions to this progress.”

Looking ahead to the special summer session in June, AFC continues to urge state officials and Gov. Rauner to prioritize the passage of a budget, without which we cannot hope to address the needs of all Illinoisans.

For the latest information about HIV funding in Illinois, sign up to receive email notifications via AFC’s Online Action Bulletin: Read more about AFC’s state budget advocacy at

Categorized under Advocacy and Illinois.

Recommended Articles