HIV/AIDS funding in Illinois will remain nearly fully funded thanks to Governor Pat Quinn, unlike California Governor Schwarzenegger who eliminated $85 Million in HIV/AIDS funding.
The State Budget this year was a tough one as it wasn't passed until almost 2 weeks into the new fiscal year. Originally the budget was only funding HIV/AIDS agencies, and other social services, at 50% of the prior levels, causing panic in the community on trying to figure out where the rest of many organizations budgets would come from.
Quinn who is utilizing $3.4B that is in an "unallocated discretionary fund," will be assigning about $40 million to the IL Dept of Public Health. Of that, $17 million is earmarked for HIV/AIDS programming. With what was already allocated in the budget this means that the total funds allocated are just under 3% less than where they were last year.
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago released a statement where President Mark Ishaug said "We are enormously grateful to Governor Quinn for ensuring that essential HIV/AIDS services continue, despite these difficult economic times. In the midst of a contentious budget crisis, the governor's decision to safeguard essential public health services is a sign of true leadership."
"The governor's decision ensures that HIV prevention and care services for people living with and at risk for HIV will continue largely uninterrupted," Ishaug said.
Congratulations to Governor Quinn for doing the right thing and a big shout outto our local representatives State Senator Heather Stearns, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz and State Representative Greg Harris for all of their hard work in getting funds restored.