Simmons BudgetAddressEOS PinkSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2025 budget that keeps Illinois on track to protect vital funding for mental health services while providing economic relief to thousands of households. After voting to support the plan, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“The very first bill I introduced in the Senate three years ago would create a child tax credit. Since then, myself, my colleagues and grassroots groups have led a movement that strongly advocated for enacting a permanent and refundable child tax credit for households in every part of Illinois who are struggling to get by and need economic relief. With passage of this budget, thousands of households – parents, caretakers, and children in Illinois – will get extra money every year to put food on the table, pay rent, get childcare and other basic needs that no family should have to forgo in our state.

“This is a long day coming and I am excited to see a historic child tax credit enacted in this year’s state budget. By directing the credit towards households that already receive the anti-poverty earned income tax credit, we are ensuring the households who are most economically strapped get money back to help them pay their bills and make a dignified living. As part of this budget passage, I also am proud to champion and pass legislation, House Bill 5290, to create a new Medical Debt Relief Program, which will wipe out medical debt for an estimated 340,000 people across Illinois.

“Finally, as Vice-Chair of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee, I recently brought together mental health stakeholders, those directly impacted by the crisis, community leaders and advocates to look at the status quo and explore actionable legislative and budgetary solutions. I take great pride in seeing their voices reflected in this budget.

“I will continue to lift up 7th District parents, caretakers, advocates and children, fighting to see their issues and concerns supported by progressive policy with the dollars to match.”