With less than three weeks remaining in the spring legislative session, Senate Republicans joined for a press conference on Thursday to urge majority party lawmakers to reevaluate their priorities. Republicans pointed to misplaced priorities in areas of health care, the care of at-risk children with Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) involvement, and an energy agenda that has some Illinoisans paying almost double for their energy compared to one year ago.
In a discussion on healthcare priorities, the Senators highlighted the repeated underfunding of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, including the developmentally disabled, by more than a half-billion dollars during the last three years. Meanwhile, as the Fiscal Year 2024 budget is being crafter, Democrats project they will spend $1.1 billion in the next fiscal year alone for a taxpayer-funded free healthcare program for undocumented immigrants.
Another group mentioned during the press conference are the vulnerable children under the care of DCFS. According to state statistics, deaths of children with DCFS involvement have increased in recent years, from an average of 100 child deaths from 2015-2018, to an average of 130 deaths from 2018-2022. In 2022 alone, there were 171 deaths of children who met the criteria for an investigation by DCFS.
And as many Illinois families struggle with the high cost of living, including skyrocketing energy prices, out-of-touch proposals are being introduced to ban gas stoves and gas vehicles. This comes at a time when an existing rebate program for downstate Illinoisans to help with utility bill costs has not yet been funded.
Lawmakers needs to shift focus to the issues that help Illinois citizens, not hurt them. Senate Republicans’ hope Illinoisans’ needs will start to be prioritized over the next two weeks of session.

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