Senator Mattie Hunter: Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Human Service Budget Cuts “Disheartening”

State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago)

One year after the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act, families and individuals across the country are feeling the benefits. Yet, in Illinois, health and human service providers are still facing continual cuts and, in turn, their patients are not receiving the quality health care promised to them by the State.

As the Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, I recently called a subject matter hearing regarding proposed cuts to the State’s human services budget in the current fiscal year. Service providers from around the state testified on the negative effect of proposed cuts to vital programs that affect people from all walks of life.

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), recently released an analysis of Governor Quinn’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget. According to CTBA, the four “core” state services- education, health care, human services, and public safety- still receive prioritized funding. Even with prioritized funding, human services- made up by the Department of Aging, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Family and Child Services- is the only of these areas of Quinn’s proposed budget facing major ostensible cuts in funding adding up to $211 million less than last year while the others increased. After inflation, all four prioritized areas are significantly underfunded compared to their rate in 2000.