Budget Press ConferenceSPRINGFIELD — State Senators Heather Steans (D-Chicago 7th) and Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), joined by many of their colleagues from around the state, gave an update yesterday on the actions they are taking to keep essential services, including health care and public safety, in operation while negotiating a responsible budget following the governor’s veto of all but one appropriations measure sent to his desk. The Senate Appropriations I Committee just approved a one-month emergency budget that would shield from shutdown certain functions such as caring for abused and neglected children, guarding prison inmates, monitoring sex offenders and responding to natural disasters.

“Senate Democrats are taking action today to protect senior citizens, wards of the state, those with developmental disabilities and other vulnerable residents from the crushing blow of the governor’s decision to veto the state budget,” Sen. Steans said. “We are also keeping open the channels of communication with the governor, and we stand ready for a productive conversation about the role of both spending and revenue reforms in a responsible budget.”

“Last week we saw a positive step forward when the Governor signed our K-12 budget. We need to identify, prioritize and address the areas of the budget that are equally vital right now to prevent lasting consequences,” Sen. Manar said.

“Holding critical services hostage to ideological warfare isn’t governing,” Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia) said. “Halting critical, core state services that businesses and families rely on isn’t governing. Bruce Rauner demonstrated that he can govern when he signed the education budget. I urge him to work with us to finish the budget before it starts impacting Illinois businesses and families.”

“I am pleased to stand with my colleagues to fight for essential programs,” Sen. Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) said. “We need to have a reasonable budget that helps the middle class and our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

“The governor signing the K-12 budget last week gives me confidence that a fiscally responsible budget compromise is on the horizon, and is an example of how both sides can come together in critical moments on critical issues,” Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) said. “Let’s use this momentum and take immediate action on a FY 16 budget that sincerely recognizes the immutable needs of the people.”

“The governor stood with us by protecting K-12 funding. Now, we need to defend essential services and quality care for our state’s most vulnerable residents,” Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter (D-Chicago 17th) said. “Protecting vital adult dental services can prevent dentists from having to turn away Medicaid recipients, leaving the health of many in need hanging in the balance.”

Category: News Releases

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