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The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) applauds Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed $25 million HIV funding allocation in the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Illinois state budget.
“We thank Gov. Rauner for his leadership in not cutting HIV funding,” said John Peller, AFC president/CEO. “Earlier this month, AFC expressed disappointment with Gov. Rauner and the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) decision to not spend $10 million of the $25 million HIV funding line. Today we are heartened to see Gov. Rauner and DPH heed our concerns and recommend adequate funding of $25 million in the governor’s proposed budget to combat the HIV epidemic.”
However, AFC has grave concerns about potential cuts for Medicaid, which will be reduced by $150 million, and the supportive housing budget, which Gov. Rauner plans to reduce to $12.7 million from $13.4 million. AFC reminds the Rauner administration that these state funds work in unison to provide an effective safety net for Illinois’ most vulnerable populations.
“With such massive cuts to Medicaid and other programs,” Peller continued, “Many individuals living with HIV, as well as other vulnerable communities in Illinois, will be left without adequate access to lifesaving services.”
The governor has proposed the following amounts be allocated toward HIV, Medicaid and supportive housing in the budget for FY19:
These additional cuts to Medicaid, supportive housing and other safety net programs could have a devastating effect on the estimated 45,000 people living with HIV in Illinois, in addition to other vulnerable populations. This situation could be magnified if President Trump passes his proposed federal budget, which plans to slash funding for social service programs across the board. It’s more important now than ever to fund critical programs at the state level to protect Illinoisans.
“In the governor’s address, he welcomed a call for serious discussion on how to proceed in identifying a responsible solution to our state’s problems,” said Dan Frey, director of government relations at AFC. “We believe that responsible solution includes the proposed level funding for HIV programs, but also urge the governor and members of the Illinois General Assembly to avoid cuts to social service programs that our most vulnerable residents depend upon. Furthermore, Illinois must look for ways to generate revenue needed to put the state on a path toward sustainable prosperity. We look forward to working with Gov. Rauner, his administration, and the General Assembly on a budget solution that will benefit all communities.”
To that end, AFC urges Gov. Rauner and the legislature to identify other fiscally sound sources of revenue to avoid slashing vital programs like Medicaid in Illinois.
Save the date for AFC’s 2018 Springfield Advocacy Day, which will take place on Wednesday, May 23. Stay tuned for more information on aidschicago.org.
About the AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AFC mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and related chronic diseases. We aspire to create a world in which people living with HIV and related chronic diseases will thrive, and new HIV infections will be rare. Learn more at aidschicago.org.