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Gov Fatso and Tony P cough up another $250 million for migrants.

That brings the total for 2023/24 to well over $400 million to help out folks who've snuck into our country illegally. Money that otherwise would help existing Chicago citizens in need. I wonder if they poor folks will keeping voting Democratic and sallute the very people who are screwing them.

By the way, the entire community services budget for Chicago in 2024 is approx $1.3 billion. So one third of that are going to a bunch of folks who shouldn't be here in the first place.

Mayor Brandon Johnson notably absent as Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle pledge $250 million in migrant aid

By JEREMY GORNER , A.D. QUIG and ALICE YIN Chicago Tribune

PUBLISHED: February 15, 2024

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday pledged more than $250 million in additional funding to deal with the migrant crisis in Chicago, while at the same time saying the state, county and city of Chicago have concluded that $321 million is needed to maintain shelter and other services this year.

The announcement from Pritzker’s office did not mention any contributions from the city of Chicago, and Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office declined to comment.

“We put together these cost projections in collaboration with the county and city,” said Pritzker’s spokesperson Jordan Abudayyeh. “The Governor agreed to step up and cover more than half of this cost at $182 million. The County President also stepped up to cover an additional $70 million. You will have to ask the city what their plans are for the remaining $70 million that all parties have agreed is needed to fund this humanitarian response.”

Pritzker said he will propose $182 million for migrant assistance as part of the fiscal year 2025 budget, which goes into effect on July 1, while Preckwinkle said she will work with her county board to come up with $70 million. Pritzker is scheduled to give his budget address in Springfield on Wednesday, and his proposals will have to be approved by the General Assembly, where Senate President Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, has expressed resistance to funding migrants as a standalone issue.

“With thousands of asylum seekers continuing to come to Chicago in desperate need of support and with Congress continuing to refuse to act—it is clear the state, county, and city will have to do more to keep people safe,” Pritzker said in the release.

A source familiar with the talks said Johnson initially agreed to provide additional funding but later backed off.

Since August 2022, the state said it has directed about $640 million to deal with the influx of some 35,000 migrants, most of them bused to Chicago from Texas, including $160 million that was announced in November. The money was aimed at providing more robust legal and employment assistance and relieving pressure on Chicago’s shelter system that was hampering efforts to connect migrants with housing and jobs through the construction of a centralized intake center.

Johnson allocated $150 million in his 2024 budget for the city’s migrant response, though he and others acknowledged that amount will likely be insufficient for the mounting costs to care for the asylum seekers. Over the past several months, the mayor’s office announced they could no longer open new shelters as the money was fast dwindling. City officials recently projected the $150 million would run out by April, saying that all options were on the table to address that fiscal cliff.

While the number of migrants arriving to the city has dropped in recent weeks, Abudayyeh noted arrival numbers can ebb and flow regularly and that the state funding is necessary to anticipate more migrants still arriving to the city in the coming months, especially during the remaining part of winter.

“If we could get through this year and less people come, that would be the best solution,” she said. “But we have to plan for what we think could be ahead of us.”

The migrant crisis has been marked by several instances of tension between Pritzker and Mayor Johnson. In December, the governor scrapped Johnson’s plan to build a migrant camp on a Southwest Side lot over environmental concerns. Last month, Pritzker said he was “deeply concerned” about the mayor’s decision to hold off on opening new shelters.

This year’s county budget included more than $100 million for new arrival costs, largely for healthcare spending. Cook County Health has been spending roughly $1.5 to $2.5 million a month to provide physicals, testing and lab services, vaccinations, behavioral health screenings and counseling, prescriptions and follow up visits, as well as transport to appointments.

A late budget amendment included for the county’s 2024 budget created a new $100 million emergency fund largely dedicated to the migrant mission, including $70 million that could be tapped for new arrival health care and $20 million set aside to compensate municipal or local government costs involving migrant care.

Late last month, Preckwinkle said officials had yet to tap into that emergency fund and that suburban officials had not taken her up on a request to provide shelter space to supplement Chicago’s efforts.

As part of Thursday’s announcement, Preckwinkle said she “will work with Cook County commissioners to commit up to $70 million more for this joint funding plan.”

Given the current run rate of the county’s healthcare spending, it’s unclear what the $70 million in additional funding would entail. County officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“As critical funding for this ongoing humanitarian crisis stalls in Congress, Cook County stands committed to the well-being of the region,” Preckwinkle said in Thursday’s news release. “We cannot wait for additional resources and Cook County is proud to stand alongside Governor Pritzker in this joint funding plan, ensuring that shelter capacity, healthcare and wraparound services remain accessible to those in need.”

In addition to possible resistance from his fellow Democrats, Pritzker’s proposal was alreaddy being questioned by Republican legislative leadership.

Illinois House Republican leader Tony McCombie of Savanna criticized Pritzker’s announcement of the new funding, saying “four weeks ago” the Pritzker administration didn’t have money for “basic care for our developmentally disabled.”

“Now he has $182 million burning a hole in his pocket,” she said. “This migrant crisis needs a long-term plan, not a blank check that disregards our most vulnerable.”

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