SPRINGFIELD – Building upon the fiscally responsible budget decisions Democrats in Springfield have made in recent years, State Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. – the Senate’s lead budget negotiator – championed sending billions of dollars to mental health care, crime prevention, job creation and saving for our state’s future.

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“This plan builds upon the responsible budget decisions and balanced budgets of the last few years. The state was able to pay off our bills, saw our credit rating improve and found itself with a sizeable surplus. We spent much of that surplus by putting $1.83 billion back in taxpayers’ pockets,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Even with that, we found ourselves with additional funding to provide even more assistance to address the needs facing communities and families across our state.”

The measure – found within House Bill 969 – promotes fiscal responsibility by putting additional revenue in the state’s Rainy Day Fund and spurs economic deployment by encouraging big employers to come to Illinois.

It also prioritizes the people and sectors who need help the most. To continue providing support for community-based organizations, nonprofits and the City of Chicago to respond to the challenges faced by asylum seekers arriving in Chicago sent by political leaders in other states, this bill provides $162 million for costs associated with care and services provided to these individuals and families.

“Illinois is a welcoming state – one that treats human beings with dignity and respect,” said Sims. “Because the state has prioritized responsible spending and payments to reduce our debt, resulting in a sizeable surplus, the ability to cover these costs is both the fiscally and morally responsible thing to do.”

Further, the supplemental budget prioritizes mental health services, affordable housing and public safety.

“Thanks to the remarkable strength and tenacity of the people of Illinois, our economy rebounded in a way we didn’t expect, and we ended up with additional revenue – even after the relief we provided to taxpayers,” said Sims. “Following the mess that was the Rauner budget impasse, we’ve been more conservative with our investments because we refused to make the same mistakes. I’m proud of the work before us.”

House Bill 969 passed the Senate Monday.

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