Senate Bill 2971 to extend the "Red Ribbon Cash" lottery game for the Quality of Life HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Fund got some visibility at a legislative action press conference observing National African-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Feb. 7.
The event was at the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield. Leaders from the Illinois HIV/AIDS community attended.
SB 2971 proposes an extension of the "Sunset" date for the Quality of Life HIV/AIDS fund, commonly referred to as the "Red Ribbon Cash" lottery ticket. The Quality of Life Fund is the only self-generating revenue funding enhancer of its kind in the U.S. The program is set to expire Dec. 31, 2012 and the proposal is to push that date back to Dec. 31, 2017.
The Red Ribbon Cash scratch-off game has generated $1.4 million for HIV/AIDS prevention and care for Illinoisans. This year, the lottery ticket will fund 14 community-based organizations across the state.
SB 2971 is sponsored by State Sen. Jackie Collins, who stated: "Funding for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs is vitally important given the increasing prevalence and devastating nature of this disease in our communities."
Illinois State Rep. Karen Yarbrough is sponsoring the legislation in the House of Representatives. Other legislators present included Rep. Greg Harris and Rep. Ken Dunkin.
The original co-authors of the Quality of Life HIV/AIDS legislation, Ben Montgomery and Michael O'Connor, organized the press conference with the support of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.