Sen. Omar AquinoSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) commended Gov. JB Pritzker’s focus on social service funding during his first budget address.

“Social services in my district and across the state are still reeling from the previous administration’s manufactured budget crisis,” said Aquino. “A budget is a moral document, and I am thrilled that moving forward we will exercise morality by serving the most vulnerable of our citizens.”

During the 2015-2017 budget impasse essential social service agencies that rely on state funding went unpaid, forcing most to limit services and some to close their doors indefinitely. These services include homeless shelters, addiction treatment centers, domestic violence shelters and others.

“Not only is there a financial cost from the impasse, but a significant human cost as well,” said Aquino. “People could not access the services and help they needed and I am glad that this administration is going to make that a top priority. We are going to bring stability and dignity back to peoples’ lives.”

The proposed budget allocates $172 million to support the new minimum wage for care workers who help people with addiction, seniors with at-home care and parents with child care programs.

Aquino sits on both Appropriations committees and looks forward to passing a balanced and equitable budget alongside the governor.