The state of Illinois has launched a program that will allow private investors to subsidize services for people in need. In return, the companies would potentially receive a fiscal return for their financial assistance.
Specifically, the program allows private investors the opportunity to front the costs associated with starting a social service program and if it is successful, the sponsor would receive their financial investment along with profit in return.
"It's an exciting opportunity for our state and provides us with a way to save money, be more effective and better serve youth," Andrew Flach, a spokesman for the state Department of Children and Family Services, said, according to the Associated Press. "Instead of just writing checks, we're ensuring that we're getting outcomes we're asking for."
The program was first brought to the table by former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and has been supported by current Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Details on the financial investment and determining factors for a program's success have yet to be finalized and will reportedly be fleshed out over the coming months.
Proponents of the program say the public-private partnership will give social service providers added financial security than simply relying on the state for funding. Right now, many social service agencies in the state are grappling with dwindling budgets and impending fiscal doom due to the state's ongoing legislative budget stalemate, which has led to the state failing to have a budget since the start of the fiscal year five months ago.