August 10, 2009
Under a plan released July 31, Gov. Pat Quinn ensured that state funding for HIV/AIDS services will remain essentially intact in the new fiscal year.
The FY 2010 Illinois budget, which passed on July 15, funded HIV/AIDS agencies and other social services at 50 percent of previous levels. It did, however, include $3.4 billion in unallocated funds to be spent at the governor's discretion. Service providers had been anxious about where Quinn would put the funds.
Under the Governor's Allocation Plan, Quinn earmarked $40 million for the Illinois Department of Public Health, of which $17 million will be spent on HIV/AIDS programming. In combination with HIV/AIDS money already allocated in the state budget, this restores funding to 97.4 percent of previous levels.
The plan still leaves about $1.4 billion in unmet needs. And other social service programs, including substance-abuse prevention agencies, experienced deep funding cuts.
"The governor's decision ensures that HIV prevention and care services for people living with and at risk of HIV will continue largely uninterrupted," said Mark Ishaug, president and CEO of AIDS Foundation of Chicago. "We are enormously grateful to Gov. Quinn for ensuring essential HIV/AIDS services continue, despite these difficult economic times."
The FY 2010 budget has been criticized for borrowing heavily to pay the state's bills and for offering no sustainable solution to Illinois' cycle of financial crises. Quinn's plan notes that the budget does not include funds to pay down $3.9 billion that the state owes, much of it to small nonprofits like HIV/AIDS service providers.