State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) issued the following statement after today’s bipartisan vote on a balanced budget:

“We’ve been working to reach a bipartisan budget agreement for months. Today, we came together to make important investments in our state’s future by passing a deal that funds critical programs that serve all Illinoisans.

“The package we passed includes funds to education, MAP grants, addiction treatment and childcare services. All of these programs are essential to the lives of our citizens and should not be reduced or cut from the budget.

“The lack of affordable childcare is truly tearing at the fabric of my community. Some mothers are forced to make difficult decisions on how to care for their families while still making an honest living. The governor’s budget proposal slashed the Child Care Assistance Program leaving many mothers few or no options at all for childcare.

“I am pleased that the plan we passed today restores funding the Child Care Assistance Program, which also includes a significant rate increase.

“Those afflicted by the opioid epidemic also remained near and dear to my heart this legislative session as I vowed to support and sponsor legislation to curb the problem. This budget plan puts nearly $2 million toward the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, which will save many lives.

“Again, I think we are on the right track as a legislative body and I was so happy to support a measure that will stabilize the lives of individuals and families in this state.”