House panels hear testimony on spending $5B in federal funds

CHICAGO (AP) — An agency that boosts Illinois’ emergency response efforts wants to be added to a proposal allowing the state to authorize the spending of roughly $5 billion in federal funding during the budget impasse.

Two House committees heard testimony Monday on legislation approved by senators last week. More than a dozen groups were set to speak, including some covered by the bill.

Others, like the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, say they rely on about $300 million in federal dollars not included in the proposal.

Lawmakers say they’re open to adding more groups.

Most spending is “pass-through” money that doesn’t require state matching dollars. It’s earmarked for social service programs such as mental health treatment and job training.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he supports the plan.