SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to the Senate’s approval of the Fiscal Year 2024 state budget:
“Today was a win for Illinoisans as we passed one of the boldest budget plans in recent years. Marked by robust investments in early childhood education, child care, evidence-based funding for schools and higher education, our budget restores strength in our state’s education system and sets it up for long-term success.
“As the nation is facing critical workforce shortages in nearly every sector, it is vital that we do our part to support health providers, hospitals and support personnel so that no one is left without the care they need. The $200 million funding increase for services for people with developmental disabilities and a wage increase for the professionals who support them is vital.
“We must fulfill our obligations to the youth in state care and the workers who show up every day to care for and protect them. This proposal provides nearly $75 million in additional support for DCFS to expand training and protection for employees, increase scholarships for youth, improve facilities, and hire nearly 200 additional workers to support caseloads. Funding to support the new Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative—created through legislation I passed in March—will be pivotal for youth and families in need of behavioral health care across our state.
“Using our resources to prioritize education, public safety, our health care workforce and saving for the future will make sure our state is set up for prosperity. This is a budget that lifts up Illinois families, moves our economy forward and safeguards the services and programs Illinoisans rely on so that they remain resilient and funded in the years to come.”
The budget package will move to the House for consideration before heading to the governor’s desk.