The Illinois House adjourned without passing a state budget last night, continuing a weeks-long stalemate that’s left state and city grant recipients’ futures in limbo. Today, lawmakers are expected to vote on $2.2 billion in funding that will go towards “core services” like Medicaid, corrections, state police and child care. Governor Rauner is expected to veto the measure. At the moment, state funding for non-profit organizations like the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)is not budgeted for 2016. The group is planning a walkout and rally this morning at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to protest.
ICIRR says 70% of its network organizations will be forced to cut citizenship, translation, and human services for immigrants, many will lay off staff, reduce the number of people they serve, or shut down entirely. In the latest installment of our Chicago Influencer Series, we speak to Fred Tsao, policy director at ICIRR, about how the cuts affect immigrant communities in Chicago and across the state.