Gov. JB Pritzker announces $160 million for Chicago migrant aid
Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday announced $160 million in additional state funding for migrant aid in Chicago.
Why it matters: The new funds answer the city's pleas for more outside money the day after the City Council approved a budget allocating less than half of what officials anticipate needing to address the migrant crisis.
The intrigue: While the Illinois General Assembly signaled it would not vote on more migrant funding this year, Pritzker found funds within the Department of Human Services, which he says has a budget for wraparound services "for people living in the state of Illinois."
- "We're being forced to try and solve a federal-sized problem at the state and local levels. Every day we contend with impossible choices about how to use already scarce resources," Pritzker said at a press conference Thursday.
How it works: Pritzker says the funding is aimed at "welcome, shelter and independence," earmarking:
- $30 million for more workers to greet new arrivals and help them find housing, including more support for finding alternative arrangements beyond shelters.
- $65 million to expand local shelter capacity.
- $65 million to increase case management programs to expedite migrant paths to self-sufficiency.
Of note: The state is also reducing its rental assistance to new arrivals from six months of support to three months, starting Friday.
What they're saying: "The state that took my ancestors in fleeing from pogroms in Ukraine will not allow asylum seekers to freeze to death on our doorsteps," the governor said.
Between the lines: Pritzker's announcement comes on a day when the Chicago City Council's rules committee had been scheduled to vote on new language for a proposed "sanctuary city" referendum.
- That meeting was canceled and hasn't yet been rescheduled.
What we're watching: Mayor Brandon Johnson is expected to reveal a suite of tougher migrant policies Friday.
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