Home » Blog » Forum Statement: Illinois Needs a Budget Now!

Forum Statement: Illinois Needs a Budget Now!

Governor Rauner issued his third state budget address yesterday afternoon.  During the speech, he outlined his Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) funding priorities with an emphasis on state funding for Pre-K – 12 education.  While he signaled his position on various elements of the Illinois Senate’s ‘grand bargain’ package of bills, the bottom line remains the same there – there will be no progress on adopting a budget until the Legislature passes some combination of non-budget, structural reforms.

Governor Rauner and the Legislature have yet to agree to a fully funded, year-long operating budget since he took the oath of office in January 2015. According to a survey conducted last year by the United Way of Illinois, more than 1 million residents have lost access to some form of government services.  The state has gone more than seven months without state funding for domestic violence services.  More than 80,000 people have lost access to mental health services.  The state has stopped issuing funding for the MAP grant, which places roughly 130,000 low-income college students in jeopardy of dropping out of school.

Time is of the essence.

The Latino Policy Forum urges Governor Rauner and the Legislature to adopt a fully-funded budget supported by new, sustainable revenue as quickly as possible. Here is an overview of segments of the FY18 budget proposal concerning education, immigrant integration, and housing programs.


FY18 ISBE budget proposal:

  • $50 million increase for the Early Childhood Block Grant, which funds Preschool for All and the Prevention Initiative home-visiting program
  • $38.3 million increase for Bilingual Education, which would fully-fund the program
  • $30 million increase for General State Aid

FY18 DHS budget proposal:

  • $151.3 million increase to the Child Care Assistance Program, which would restore income eligibility back to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Level funding for the Healthy Families and Parents Too Soon home-visiting programs
  • $4 million increase for the Early Intervention

 Immigrant Integration

FY18 DHS budget proposal:

  • Eliminates $5.8 million in funding for Immigrant Integration Services
  • Eliminates $1.4 million in funding for Illinois Welcoming Centers

 Housing programs

FY18 DHS budget proposal:

  • Level funding for Homeless Youth Services
  • Eliminates $975,000 in funding for Homelessness Prevention programs

The Latino Policy Forum and its issue-based Acuerdo members will submit written and oral testimony in a series of state budget hearings over the next few months to promote adequate funding for key segments of the state budget.  These investments are critical to the stability, well-being, and economic advancement of Latino children and families.

Posted In: State Investment