HIV-positive mothers and their unborn babies are benefiting from an 11th-hour infusion of federal funding that saved an Illinois nonprofit from closing due to the state budget impasse.
Anne Statton, executive director of the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (PACPI), said approximately $500,000 in available federal funds was released to the organization by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The funds will cover outstanding invoices for contracted services PACPI performed between July 2015 and March 2016, Statton said.
PACPI, which works to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmissions, depends on IDPH for about 85 percent of its funding. Currently, the organization has state contracts that collectively total about $845,000.
Without the federal funding, PACPI would have been forced to shut down in October.
With the state budget stalemate nearing the one-year mark, former Illinois Republican Gov. Jim Edgar made a plea Tuesday for "civility," "compromise" and "compassion" in Springfield.
Speaking in Chicago, Edgar said the "best public policy comes out of compromise," explaining that "you can't get things done if you're not willing to meet your adversaries halfway."
"We ought to have checks and balances, but we shouldn't have shouting matches," he added at the "Illinois: Vision for the Future" event, hosted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform at the Standard Club.
Edgar, who became governor in 1991 and served two terms, said Illinois is currently in the "worst shape" he seen over the 50 years he's been around state government.
"We have so many people out there hurting because government's not solving the problem," he stressed.
The Chicago Teachers Union is pushing back against Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool's assertion that the planned April 1 teacher walkout is "illegal."
The teachers union's House of Delegates voted to approve the walkout Wednesday evening, solidifying plans for Chicago public school educators to hold a one-day strike next week. But Claypool called the walkout illegal at Wednesday's Chicago Board of Education meeting, hours before the union voted on the proposed action against unfair labor practices.
"In January we reached a tentative new labor contract with CTU leadership, so we believe that a final contract can be reached if both parties continue to negotiate in good faith," said Claypool. "But rather than focusing on reaching an agreement, it is disappointing to see CTU's leadership promoting this illegal strike that would take a critical day of instruction away from our students, to say nothing of encouraging teachers to break the law."