SPRINGFIELD, June 1, 2018 – Each year, May 31 marks the end of the Spring Legislative Session in Illinois. The Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Thursday, after a productive and effective Spring Session, a stark contrast to the past years.
The House and Senate passed a bi-partisan budget that received near unanimous support across the aisle and across chambers. There are high expectations for the Governor to sign it into law. The Governor’s proposed cuts to Medicaid and Human Services were overturned. Most importantly, this budget fully funds at Fiscal Year 2018 levels HIV prevention and education services, minority HIV services, Medicaid, and supportive housing.
The “Budgeteers,” a bi-partisan, bi-cameral group of legislators had been meeting frequently and diligently to hammer out this budget deal throughout the Spring Session. The final budget agreement is crafted on $38.5 billion in revenue, roughly $600 million more revenue than the Governor’s introduced Fiscal Year 19 budget at $37.9 billion.
The final budget contains level appropriations for the HIV lump sum at $25.4 million, minority HIV services at $1.2 million, and supportive housing at $13.4 million.
These budget lines support primary care and HIV prevention, education, housing and treatment services throughout the entire state.
“Cuts to these lines would likely lead to fewer HIV tests, fewer HIV diagnoses and increased numbers of new HIV cases – and ultimately, higher costs to the state’s taxpayers from HIV cases that could have been prevented. By continuing to fully fund these lines, the legislature has made clear their support for full funding for HIV and other related services,” says Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC).
“We, at AFC, thank our champions in the legislature whose hard work at the bargaining table made this budget possible,” says John Peller, President and CEO of AFC. “We will continue to monitor the budget implementation process and encourage the Governor to spend the full amount appropriated by the General Assembly.”
AFC also thanks the hundreds of HIV advocates from across Illinois who have contacted their legislators to urge them to oppose funding cuts for HIV and other vital services. Nearly 130 advocates traveled Springfield during the session to meet with legislators and the Governor.
Stay tuned for a summary of major legislation passed by the legislature during the 2018 session related to HIV and health care access.