Despite years of cuts to the Illinois state budget, even more are ahead. Legislators are still deciding where else they can slash spending.
"Human services" is a legislative phrase that covers many departments and services, according to Representative Greg Harris.
"All the state departments dealing with health care, senior services, children services, so the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Medicaid, human services, mental health, substance abuse, Department of Aging, DCFS, public health and veterans," said Harris.
Harris, a Chicago Democrat, chairs the House committee in charge of human services spending. He says legislators are considering cutting $770 million from the budget introduced by Governor Pat Quinn - taking spending below last year's levels.
Harris says it's a difficult task - entire departments could be eliminated and it still wouldn't save enough.
Legislators are expected to begin unveiling their budget proposals this week - with the Senate and House drafting competing plans. They have until the end of the month to reconcile - the General Assembly's scheduled to adjourn May 31.