12/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Budget Crunch Jeopardizing Pioneering AIDS Fund

HIV and AIDS activists around the state are informally discussing whether to launch a last ditch effort to reinstate millions in the current year's budget for a fund that just two years ago put Illinois on the map as a national pioneer in HIV and AIDS funding for black communities.
The deadline to make any changes to the current budget is Nov. 21, when the legislative veto session ends.

An investigation by The Chicago Reporter found that many of the organizations that would have received the money this year were unaware that lawmakers decided during closed-door budget negotiations this spring to scuttle $3 million for the state's African-American HIV/AIDS Response Fund and other programs they considered redundant because the state was facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit, said State Sen. Donne Trotter, who was part of the decision-making process.

Any effort to restore the money would likely fail, said Trotter, who represented senate Democrats in state budget negotiations. "Anything is possible," he said. "But the probabilities are very slim."

Read more on Chicago Reporter