Illinois General Assembly approves FY21 budget in special session

Publisher: Alex Hylka

Illinois state capitol building

Lawmakers returned to Springfield May 20-23, 2020 to finish out the rest of the spring session that was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a condensed session that was originally expected to last three days but extended into four, with the House meeting at the Springfield Convention Center and the Senate meeting at the State Capitol Building with numerous safety measures put in place.

Before adjourning early Sunday morning, the General Assembly passed a relatively flat budget that relies heavily on federal borrowing. You can view that budget here. Please see highlights from the budgets for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) below:

  • DCFS: To address the anticipated rise in caseloads, DCFS’ budget included increases to the following line items:
    • -Adoption and guardianship
    • -Counseling and auxiliary services
    • -Family preservation
    • -Foster home and specialized foster home
    • -Institution and group homes

      ​See the DCFS budget line item analysis here.
  • DHS: Most youth-service based line items remained primarily flat, except for the following programs:
    • The Teen REACH Program, Community Youth Services (CYS), and Comprehensive Community Youth Based Services (CCBYS) line items received 2% increases
    • Youth Homelessness received a slight increase

      See the DHS budget line item analysis here.

Additional Legislative Actions:

The legislature also created the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission to monitor budget actions taken by the Governor’s Office or the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) and to oversee the distribution and expenditures of federal financial relief for state and local governments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. GOMB will submit reports to the Commission reporting any budget management actions taken by the Governor’s Office, GOMB, and any state agency. The reports must include information regarding any transfers between appropriation lines exceeding 2%, fund transfers, the designation of any appropriation lines as reserves, or any other discretionary action taken with regard to the FY21 budget as enacted.

Also included in this year’s Budget Implementation Act was the Intergenerational Poverty Act that creates a workgroup and a commission to evaluate the causation of poverty and evaluate measures to reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty. The Commission includes members of the legislature, government, and 20 members of the public (including one representative that advocates for children and youth).

The legislature also passed a capital re-appropriations bill, a healthcare-related omnibus bill, the Hospital Assessment bill, an education omnibus bill, a workman’s compensation bill, an election bill related to the 2020 election, a gaming bill, various COVID-19 related responses, and measure that provides legislative oversight of the governor’s reopening plan.

Next Steps:

The legislature is set to return in November for what will likely be a more robust Veto Session than in past years. ICOY will continue to advocate for our legislative agenda that was progressing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the condensed legislative session. It is our hope that we can continue that advancement in the fall.

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