Willis backs one-month state-funding extension amid budget impasse
State Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Dist. 77) backed a measure late last week that aims to keep essential state services functioning for another month and ensure public-safety officials and state government employees continue to receive their salaries while budget negotiations continue.
“I supported this plan because a complete government shutdown will hurt residents throughout Illinois, and that is not acceptable” Willis said. “The governor and his political soldiers are forcing a shutdown that puts into jeopardy programs and services that make huge differences in the quality of life for Illinois’ senior citizens, disabled persons and veterans. I just can’t let these people be held hostage because of the governor’s refusal to compromise.”
The initiative provides just over $2.2 billion for one month of funding for programs such as sex-offender GPS tracking, community-care programs for the elderly, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s monitoring of nuclear sites and natural-disaster response, and funding for operations at veterans homes, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois School for the Deaf, the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, the Illinois National Guard, and the Department of Children and Family Services group homes, foster homes, protective services and correctional officers.
“Public safety and services for veterans, seniors and the disabled are simply too important to make unavailable because of ongoing budget negotiations,” Willis said. “Public services and those who provide them are part of what makes Illinois a great place to live, and I sincerely hope that the governor will sign this legislation so residents’ lives are not negatively affected.”