News Local/State

Rauner Administration To Restore $26 million In “Good Friday” Grant Cuts


Gov. Bruce Rauner's office says an unexpected windfall of revenue from income tax receipts will allow the state to restore $26 million in social service and public health grants cut earlier this month. 

Rauner's spokesman Thursday cited increased revenues as the reason for the restoration. The Legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability says income tax receipts this month are running roughly half a billion ahead of projections.  

Rauner suspended the grants as part of an effort to plug a $1.6 billion budget hole this year. The cuts came after lawmakers passed legislation aimed at plugging the gap with transfers from special state funds and across-the-board budget cuts. 

 Senate Appropriations Chairman Dan Kotowski says the move eases anxiety for family and service providers affected by the cuts.

For one visitor to the state Capitol, the good news hits close to home.  

"I'm escatic. I'm so excited", she said, wearing one of those “couldn’t wipe it off er face” smiles.

Guthrie-Gard's 23-year-old daughter has epilepsy, and she credits the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago for its support.  It, as well as programs for autistic children, people with HIV, and after-school programs for teenagers were among those Rauner cut just before Easter.

Guthrie-Gard had been coming to Springfield ever since. First, she came to protest; then, she came, gratified when senators pushed through a deal that could have restored the money; only for that plan to stall.

"Let me put it this way”, she said. “I think we've experienced whiplash about four times in the last three weeks."

An aide to Gov. Rauner says no more cuts are coming in the current state budget year. But that ends June 30th. And much deeper cuts are possible for next year.