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Latino State News

Lawmakers Fight Against Gov. Quinn’s Budget Cut Pre-Schoolers Affected by HIV/AIDS

Monday, state Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) pushed the Illinois General Assembly to reverse Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget cuts that called on the elimination or reduction of funds of medical care, pre-school, and other specialized services for Chicagoland’s HIV/AIDS-affected pre-school students.

Agency officials from Humboldt Park’s Children’s Place Association from which the money is being terminated, was forced to eliminate 35 of its 70 HIV/AIDS-affected pre-school children from the program. Out of the program, the children are now at risk of neglect, malnutrition, family disintegration, and even risk losing their lives.

“Children with HIV/AIDS or other chronic diseases will lose the medical care, the pre-school and the monitoring that only we provide,” said Cathy Krieger, president of The Children’s Place Association, during an early morning press conference Monday at the pre-school’s 1800 N. Humbold Park Blvd. location. “In some cases, their health will be jeopardized without the care they currently receive.”

The program is the only one of its kind in Illinois for poor children, serving children and families from 26 different Chicago neighborhoods.

The Illinois House and Senate will likely vote on the state budget next, and it will decide the future of a number of pre-schoolers in the area,