Illinois legislators are moving forward with plans to spend an extra $900 Million dollars, money that will keep child abuse caseworkers employed, fund mental health care providers, and pay for road improvements. You haven't missed anything. Illinois is still broke; the state budget still under the intense pressure of competing demands. These are the demands chosen for reasons of need, politics or opportunity may be met. For example; if the spending's approved, the Department of Children and Family Services says it'll be saved from having to layoff caseworkers who work with abused kids. While legislators from both parties back it, Democratic Representative Luis Arroyo of Chicago was one of several lawmakers bothered that the General Assembly's coming to the rescue of some programs, while others are left to wilt:
"I didn't know there was extra money there. There's a lot of avenues I'd like to use some of that road fund money. Or move over to different areas rather than to take it for this project. Here's another hidden thing that's coming now at the last, at the 12th hour now, so I dunno, maybe my age, I'm senile and I'm not keeping up with what's going on. But I'm not being told that there's extra money in the road fund."
The money's coming from various sources that extra revenue for roads, and dollars originally intended for prisons that the governor's closing. And doctors would pay higher licensing fees. Legislators are also giving initial clearance to move the governor's major budget address from mid-February to early March. Governor Pat Quinn's annual state of the state speech is tomorrow you can listen to it live on WGLT.
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