Last week, Governor JB Pritzker delivered a virtual State of the State and Budget Address to the 102nd General Assembly. EverThrive Illinois was pleased to hear the Governor’s continued leadership, investing in preserving and strengthening the healthcare safety net, supporting the health care workforce, and stabilizing the state fiscally. The Governor’s commitment to health equity is more critical than ever, as low-income and communities of color face exacerbated economic hardship, growing health inequities as well as mental health and housing crises.
The Governor’s proposed budget includes critical solutions to challenges faced by Illinois families in the years ahead:
- Preserving the safety net to address COVID-19 and pandemic recovery
- Making progress and long-term investments to address social determinants of health, including homelessness, poverty, hunger, and long-term violence prevention
- A commitment to improving mental health and substance abuse services, permanently expanding telehealth for treatment and recovery support and increasing access to Medicaid Assisted Therapy and increasing naloxone distribution
As the pandemic continues to challenge the physical and mental health of low-income and families of color throughout Illinois, it also stresses the healthcare system. Governor Pritzker proposes to invest $50M to provide sustainability payments to support the behavioral health community-based provider network and supporting healthcare frontline staff through licensing fee waivers and loan repayment for behavioral health professionals, critical to ensuring an equitable and diverse workforce.
EverThrive Illinois will continue to work with the administration to ensure that gains made last legislative session close the racial gap in maternal mortality, continue to build a healthcare system worthy of families’ trust, and expand access to high-quality health care for more Illinoisians.
EverThrive Illinois is grateful for the community leaders and agency staff who are working to shift how social services are designed and administered in Illinois. IDPH’s re-commitment to health equity is energizing, and we believe that Illinois can achieve health care equity, birth justice, and racial justice when we work together. We look forward to working with the 102nd General Assembly members and the Governor’s Office to improve Illinoisans’ health.