The following is the statement of ACLU of Illinois Executive Director Colleen K. Connell:
We appreciate a bipartisan bloc in both the Illinois House and Senate for acting courageously and swiftly to bring an end to the budget impasse. Residents across our state — especially those most vulnerable residents — have suffered drastic consequences due to this impasse. Now is the time for us all to come together and continue the hard work of restoring critical services in Illinois.
As we have made clear to the courts and to the legislature in recent weeks, ACLU clients across the state— including those in several cases where the ACLU has secured consent decrees protecting a modicum of funding for vulnerable persons in Illinois – need an actual budget to fund a host of programs that serve the public. Those programs have been under increasing pressure We see that over the past two years as the state’s revenue failed to match its obligations and the broader safety net collapsed, it has become increasingly more difficult for our clients to get meaningful services guaranteed by these consent decrees as the services that undergird the fundamental aims of the decrees continue to erode. A budget will help ensure that all residents, including those protected by our consent decrees, will be able to rely on a variety of critical services that have been disappearing.