June 1, 2016
May 31st typically marks the end of the Spring Legislative Session in Illinois. Usually, Illinois’ House, Senate and Governor pass a state budget for the next fiscal year and any substantive changes that will go into effect at the beginning of the new fiscal year would be implemented beginning on July 1. This timeline gives those who do business with the State of Illinois, including health and human service providers, enough time to plan their organizational budgets for the next fiscal year.
For the second fiscal year in a row since Governor Rauner has been in office however, this May 31st came and went without a final version of a fiscal year 2016 (FY16) or fiscal year 2017 (FY17) state budget.
While at different points in the last month or so, the IL House and Senate Democrats passed partial or full funding budget bills - including SB2038 and SB2048 - and, on May 31st, the IL House and Senate Republicans introduced a partial budget bill (HB6585/SB3435), none of these measures have had the bipartisan, bicameral support, in addition to Governor Rauner's support, in order to become law and fully fund health and human services in Illinois.
We are now in month twelve without a state budget. What this unprecedented, arduous state budget impasse has meant for health and human service providers is an utter dismantling of their sectors, leaving out the children, families, and communities these organizations were created to serve. Reserves are exhausted, lines of credit are running dry, and the boards of these non-profit organizations are unwilling to let many of them deficit spend much longer. Decisions about leases, supply purchases, and staffing are and continue to be made. Providers throughout the state have learned the hard way that they cannot trust our leaders to end this impasse and ensure payment if we do not see a signed budget supported by adequate revenue. We continue to see politics, not long-term solutions.
While much remains up in the air, what is certain today is the same as twelve months ago: Illinois needs revenue to support the essential services that Illinois families and communities rely on. EverThrive IL, a coalition member of the Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC), has been and will continue to advocate for fair, fully-funded, and balanced FY16 & FY17 budgets that fund a robust network of health and human services in Illinois and meet the needs of all Illinoisans.
As Illinois moves into the summer months without certainty and clarity on where the fiscal year 2016 or fiscal year 2017 budgets will land, EverThrive IL will work with legislators, community partners and public officials to reach a revenue solution that allows Illinois to fund all essential services and meet the needs of Illinois families and communities. Stay tuned for updates as the budget conversations continue. Sign up for the EverThrive IL eNewsletter, Advocacy Network, and more here.