As the state budget gridlock continues into its second month, the Senate took action Aug. 4, authorizing the appropriation of nearly $5 billion in federal funds to programs that provide meals for senior citizens and supplemental nutrition programs for women and children, help crime victims, and provide community and rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, among others.
The state is responsible for administering many programs mandated or funded by the federal government. Although funding for these programs has been approved at the federal level, the Comptroller is unable to cut checks to agencies for these programs without appropriations authority. As a result, lacking funding, many social service agencies have said they will be forced to cut services or eliminate programs.
Senate Bill 2042 would allow the Comptroller to spend those dollars and ensure the providers receive the federal funding they rely on. Having been approved by the Senate, the measure now advances to the House for consideration. If approved in the House, the legislation would move to the Governor’s desk; a spokesman for the Rauner administration recently said the Governor supports the measure.