SenatorHunter1SPRINGFIELD – Critical dollars may soon keep youth employment and after-school programs open for at-risk youth, hot meals at the doorsteps of seniors and timely breast and cervical cancer screenings available for women and men.

Today, State Senators Mattie Hunter and Donne Trotter backed a bipartisan funding proposal to restore the state’s critical social services.

"Keeping our social safety net intact will help residents in needs find the services that keep them healthy, safe and for many youth, off of the streets," said Hunter, a member of the Senate Human Services and Public Health committees. "These critical dollars will help prevent our youth from entering the criminal justice system by creating educational and occupational opportunities for them."

Senate Bill 2038 would address the underfunding for senior services, family services, human services, public health and health care.

"Today, we put the people first," said Trotter, Senate Appropriations II Committee chair. "It would cost the state more, in the long run, not to support the backbone of our state: our social and human services. Hardworking people who fall ill, or have the misfortune of growing old in our state should not be penalized because of the budget impasse. Senate Bill 2038 will place nearly $715 million into our system to keep our state afloat."

Under the proposal, the following services will receive funding:

•    Youth employment and after school programs
•    Mental health services
•    Homeless assistance and prevention programs and services
•    Sexual assault programs
•    Addiction services
•    AIDS/HIV services
•    Children's health programs
•    Home-delivered meals for seniors
•    Community Care Program

Senate Bill 2038 passed the Senate 56 to 0 and now goes to the governor’s desk.