Facing an April 24 deadline to move legislation, hundreds of bills were debated in the Senate during the week, including a measure to restore funding for public health and social service programs affected by recent budget cuts.
Senate authorizes Governor to restore program funding
On April 22, the Senate voted to authorize Governor Bruce Rauner to transfer $26 million from special state funds to restore grant funding for public health and social service programs.
Grants that pay for programs such as funerals and burials of public-assistance recipients, smoking cessation, teen programs, autism and HIV and AIDS programs were suspended in early April. Providers strenuously opposed the cuts, which they said would have a devastating impact on their ability to provide important services.
Senate Bill 274 gives Governor Rauner emergency budget-making powers to transfer up to $26 million from 105 specified special funds, with the exclusion of the Road Fund, Motor Fuel Tax Fund, and State Construction Account Fund.
Senate Bill 274 passed the Senate 57-1-0 and awaits further consideration in the House.
IDOT announces ‘Listening Tour’ to discuss capital projects
The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Capital Development Board are hosting a series of listening sessions across the state in the coming weeks to discuss Illinois’ infrastructure needs to help prioritize future capital projects.
The goal of the “Listening Tour” is to create a comprehensive package of capital project recommendations for the Rauner Administration to consider this spring. Meetings will be open to the public to seek input from residents, businesses and local leaders on key infrastructure priorities in each region.
Governor Rauner has called for a capital infrastructure program to finance improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure system. Past capital programs have financed maintenance and upgrades of roads, bridges and transit systems, and direct funding to improvements to state facilities, like schools and state parks.
Dates and locations for the “Listening Tour” will be updated regularly at www.idot.illinois.gov.
Additional legislative committee action
Senate lawmakers approved several dozen other bills in committee during the week on such issues as education, utilities, crime and local government. All of the bills now go back to the full Senate for consideration.
A list of legislation passed by Senate committees is available at the “Senate Action” page where it is possible to search each day’s activity.