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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:
“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: aidschicago.org/advocate. Read more about AFC’s state budget advocacy at aidschicago.org/positivebudget.