On Aug. 4, Senator Daniel Biss (D – Evanston) and his colleagues in the Illinois state Senate passed SB 2042, a measure to release federal funds previously withheld due to the state budget impasse. Under the legislation, the state would be authorized to send along almost five billion federal dollars to programs that help feed women, infants and children, provide energy assistance to low income families, support victims of domestic violence, food banks, child care and individuals living with disabilities, among other programs. 

“This game of chicken over the state budget is completely unnecessary and unconscionable,” said Sen. Biss. “I’m glad to join senators from both parties in supporting this bill that at least allows us to pass along federal funds. We have no business letting sick infants go hungry simply because we can’t agree on ideological issues that have nothing to do with our state’s fiscal stability. It’s time to look at the rest of the budget with this same lens and stop withholding services from the people of Illinois.” 

If the measure is approved by the House and governor, federal dollars will be released to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Department of Human Services, Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Public Health, the Department on Aging, Military Affairs and the Illinois State Board of Education.