SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a fall supplemental spending bill that includes $169 million in new federal dollars earmarked to improve the state’s homeland security and provide life-saving prescription drugs to uninsured and underinsured persons living with HIV/AIDS.
The legislation is necessary to allow the state to spend new federal funds that became available after the fiscal year 2004 budget was passed in May. No increased General Revenue Fund expenditures are included in the bill.
Dollar amounts and projects to be funded include:
· $113 million to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) for homeland security grants for bioterrorism preparedness, crisis response, and fire and law enforcement mutual aid. The city of Chicago and Cook County will receive $60 million from IEMA for terrorism preparedness and training and about $50 million will be used on a county-by-county strategy for responding to weapons of mass destruction and terrorist attacks.
· $9.3 million to IEMA to build a new state-of-the-art State Emergency Operations Center that will act as a secure location to protect the governor and house 25 state agencies on call during an emergency. The federal funds require a state match of 25 percent, which is provided through a $3.1 million supplemental appropriation to the Illinois Capital Development Board. Under terms of the grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the facility must be built within 18 months.
· $42 million to support homeland security activities at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDOT will spend about $12.2 million, including the purchase of special equipment to screen cargo vehicles and implement a bridge security program. The state police will use most of its $14.2 million to purchase biological test equipment and protective gear designed to resist chemical and biological agents, and conduct specialized training. IDPH will earmark its $15 million for grants to local health departments and hospitals for bioterrorism preparedness and response, creating local distribution plans for drugs available from the national Strategic National Stockpile and laboratory equipment.
· $5.1 million in new federal appropriation for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides more than 70 drugs to about 3,000 clients a month who have a gross income at or below 400 percent of poverty ($35,920 for a family of one). Total ADAP spending is expected to total $34.3 million this fiscal year.
In addition to spending authority for the federal funds, the supplemental bill permits the state to transfer nearly $100 million in bond funds to the state’s Road Fund and State Construction Account Fund to reimburse these funds for grants and loans made for statewide acquisition, construction, reconstruction, extension and improvement of highways, roads and bridges.
House Bill 2745 was sponsored in the House by Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and state Reps. Gary Hannig, D-Litchfield, and Monique Davis, D-Chicago; and in the Senate by state Sens. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago; John Sullivan, D-Rushville; Gary Forby, D-Benton; Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago; Pat Welch, D-Peru; and Bill Haine, D-Alton.