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.
State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) says she is hopeful a bipartisan committee of state lawmakers will have a budget proposal ready to present soon.
Bellock is a member of the budget working group, which was reportedly formed by the governor and is meeting daily. She spoke Monday afternoon at a City Club of Chicago discussion on the Illinois budget. Three other state lawmakers were on the City Club of Chicago panel, including state Sens. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).
The budget working group, Bellock said, is comprised of "budgeteers from all the different (appropriation) committees." The group is "trying to come up with" a budget proposal and is working on "line item after line item after line item," she explained.
As demand for federal housing vouchers intensifies in Illinois, residents in need of affordable rental housing are encountering mostly closed waitlists for the Housing Choice Voucher program across the state, a new report shows.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development operates the Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental assistance to low-income families and is administered locally by public housing authorities (PHAs).
Of the 71 PHAs with active Housing Choice Voucher programs in Illinois, 51, or 72 percent, have closed voucher waitlists, according to the report from Housing Action Illinois and the Social IMPACT Research Center.
"This means that people in need of affordable rental housing in most every part of Illinois do not have the opportunity to even get in line to secure a federally-funded subsidy that would alleviate their poverty and put their household in a better position to thrive," the report authors wrote.
Progress Illinois takes a closer look at a U.S. House budget bill covering the departments of labor, health and human services (HHS) and education. The House Appropriations Committee advanced the spending measure last month.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget proposal seeking to slash higher education spending by $387 million next fiscal year "would have direct and devastating effects on individual campuses" and students, according to a new report.
The report by Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group, notes that Illinois has already cut higher education funding spent directly on students by $500 million over the past five years.
If approved, Rauner's plan to further reduce higher education spending by 31 percent in the 2016 fiscal year, beginning July 1, "would be catastrophic" for the state's higher education system and Illinois students who have "already been pushed past the breaking point by disinvestment in higher education," the report reads.
Illinois gas station owners and representatives from Americans for Prosperity, the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores slammed the idea of hiking the motor fuel tax at a Thursday press conference.