Republicans Introduce New Plan to Fund Essential Human Services

Leaders Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) introduced their proposal to provide funding for Departments of Aging, Human Services, Public Health, Veterans Affairs and more.

The plan, HB 6553, appropriates $433M from the General Revenue Fund and $858M from Other State Funds to support critical services offered by the State of Illinois. A significant portion of the $1.3B combined total can be achieved by enacting common-sense changes to state pension systems, reforms that are not subject to court challenge and yield savings that can be banked immediately.

For instance, there are currently 400 school district employees who are paid an average of $225,000 annually. As of now, the State of Illinois pays all of the pension costs for these individuals. Instead of this being paid by Illinois taxpayers, Governor Rauner suggests that the State require an employer to pick up the pension costs for anyone earning a salary over $180,000 per year.

Reforming Illinois’ pension systems could save an enormous sum of money. If Governor Rauner’s pension changes were implemented immediately, experts estimate they would save hundreds of millions of dollars for Fiscal Year 2017. “It’s time the government took a look in the mirror and realized that there are things that can be done better," said Representative Sosnowski (R-Rockford).

HB 6553 would provide funding for the Department of Aging, Department of Human Services, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Revenue, Department of Veterans Affairs, supplemental veterans homes, Illinois EPA, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

“The most vulnerable citizens of this state rely on services from these departments” said Representative Sosnowski. He concluded, “This bill provides a dependable source of funding for them.”