Phelps Calls on Governor Rauner to Take A Break from Campaigning, Sign Bill to Provide Emergency Relief for Southern Illinois’ Most Vulnerable Residents

As many area agencies in Southern Illinois continue to cut services and are forced to close their doors on vulnerable residents like senior citizens, children with disabilities, and victims of rape, state Representative Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, is calling on Governor Rauner Wednesday to sign legislation into law that would provide emergency funding for local providers.

“For three weeks there has been a bill sitting on the governor’s desk that with his signature would provide emergency funding to our most vulnerable residents in Southern Illinois. This was a proposal that received wide bi-partisan support from Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature,” said Phelps. “I’m suggesting to Governor Rauner that he take a break from campaigning, get back to Springfield and sign the bill into law. We must continue our budget negotiations and work toward crafting a responsible spending plan that includes cuts to state government while protecting services that help the frail elderly, abuse and neglected children and victims of rape.”

Senate Bill 2038 is an emergency funding bill to cover vital services for some of Southern Illinois most vulnerable residents. The legislation passed the General Assembly with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill was sent to Governor Rauner’s desk for his signature to become law on May 18th, where it remains. Many struggling families in Southern Illinois would receive some much-needed relief, specifically senior citizens, children with disabilities, victims of rape, and homeless veterans. Local service providers are asking the governor to sign the legislation as well, which would provide desperately needed funding for Southern Illinois.

“In operating one of the oldest centers in the United States, we have never seen a financial crisis of this magnitude,” said Cathy McClanahan, the executive director of the Women’s Center. “If this emergency funding is not released, our doors will close on June 30. The governor should immediately sign this bill, which was supported by every legislator in Southern Illinois, so that we can continue to be there for the victims of sexual and domestic violence in our eight-county region.”

Brandon Phelps represents the 118th District in the Illinois General Assembly, which includes all or portions of Alexander, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, and Union counties.