Committee IDPHState Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) criticized the Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday for proposing cuts to programs and services that would disproportionately affect minority communities.

The Senate Appropriations I Committee heard testimony Wednesday morning from Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, on possible budget cuts to reduce the $5 billion gap in Gov. Rauner’s budget.

The IDPH is holding an event celebrating “National Minority Health Month” in the Capitol’s rotunda this week.

“The department needs to refocus its priorities,” Hunter said. “To me, it’s highly hypocritical and counterproductive to celebrate bridging health equity, right after proposing cuts that will largely affect a group of individuals.”

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Hunter prompt paymentsTo help the human service agencies that continue to suffer in the ongoing budget impasse, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) put forth a plan that would handle payments to all human services the same, rather than prioritizing certain contracts over others.

“We should treat the people that care for our most vulnerable citizens fairly,” Hunter said. “Programs like Redeploy Illinois, homeless youth services and others have been bearing the financial burden of the state of Illinois for the almost two years we’ve gone without a budget. This legislation will not only prioritize the payments human service providers need but also compensate organizations for delayed payments.”

Under current law, when state government fails to pay vendors on time, the Prompt Payment Act sets regulations for how to pay vendors in a timely manner for their services. Those guidelines only apply to construction contractors and some human service contractors.

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