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The Democrats’ budget time bomb is starting to explode

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* As we’ve discussed before, the state’s child care program is pretty much broke. From the governor’s office

The budget signed by (former) Governor Pat Quinn last year did not provide adequate funding for the entire Fiscal Year 2015. As a result, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) faces a $296 million hole and state-funded payments to the program will cease this month unless a responsible solution and appropriate funding source is found. CCAP continues to operate on Federal funding, but those funds only support half of the program, which will result in payment delays after February 1.

Finger-pointing aside (and it’s justifiable), this is a serious problem.

* Child care providers just received a memo from the state…

“Beginning in February providers will experience a delay in payments for child care services through June 30, 2015.

The funding shortfall may also result in service reductions to the Child Care Assistance Program.

In the past we have combined Federal funds with State funds in order to pay the monthly bills for child care services; however, this is no longer possible as only Federal funds remain. This means that we are unable to make CCAP payments to providers until the latter part of the month, which is when we receive our Federal funding.

Because the allocation of Federal funding is not enough to pay an entire month, unpaid bills will be carried over to the next month and payment delays will get progressively longer each month.”

Oy.

There are a whole lot of small, owner-operated child care providers out there who are not going to survive very long.

And when that happens, working parents will have to scramble to find somebody else, or even quit their jobs. Same goes for parents in school.

* GOP state Sen. Dave Syverson was quoted in a story posted earlier today

[Syverson] warned that as soon as Feb. 1 childcare providers could not be receiving reimbursement from the state unless the General Assembly passes a supplemental bill.

“(But) if we don’t pass a supplemental, then the money dries up in the account and the day cares don’t get paid and all of these families that are currently out there working, most of them at minimum wage and low-wage jobs, they’re out of luck,” added Syverson.

Letting the money dry up would create a ripple effect and force many daycare centers to close, said Richard Wooten, associate pastor at Faith-Walk International Church in Englewood.

“The local economy would collapse if daycare centers start shutting down especially in communities already battling high unemployment. Parents would not be able to go to work and that means less money spent on goods and services,” said Wooten

…Adding… Soccermom notes

Passing a supplemental does not put money into GRF. No more than writing a check puts money in your account.

That’s correct. They’ll have to find the money somewhere, either through new revenues or skimming special state funds. Moving “extra” GRF around probably won’t work because, well, there is no extra GRF money right now.

posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:11 pm

Comments

  1. Passing a supplemental does not put money into GRF. No more than writing a check puts money in your account.

    Comment by Soccermom Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:15 pm

  2. Well, we all saw this coming and we can’t wish it away. Governor Rauner can use this crisis to swing a deal or he can let MJM and Cullerton to do the work without him.

    Let’s see some bipartisanship and a new beginning from these Three Tops and a Millionaire.

    Comment by VanillaMan Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:18 pm

  3. What did Pat Quinn plan to say and do about this had he been re-elected, I wonder. I hope some enterprising reporters track him down and ask him.

    Comment by Responsa Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:19 pm

  4. Providing sufficient revenues to fund existing programs does, however do exactly that, Soccermom, as I’m sure you already know.

    Comment by PublicServant Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:20 pm

  5. First response from my Republican neighbor: “Good, Rauner is already starting to cut expenses.”

    Will be interesting how this, and many more stories of disappearing funding to come, will be spun by both sides.

    Comment by walker Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:22 pm

  6. How much could they get out of those special funds again?

    Comment by Cassandra Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:22 pm

  7. I wanted to add that the GA leadership brought this to fruition and if they wanted to hang it around the Governor’s neck, it won’t work.

    Smooth move guys.
    When we see this kind of bad government, we also need to recognize that bad government is just as heartless than any Governor Scrooge. Kids depended upon them and they chose to play them like pawns.

    Shameful.

    Comment by VanillaMan Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:23 pm

  8. Why should Rauner care?

    Comment by Rob Lowe Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:25 pm

  9. Public Servant, I don’t understand your point. Appropriating more than we have doesn’t solve the problem — it just pushes the can into the next fiscal.

    I completely supported extending the income tax hike, as did PQ. Rauner did not.

    Comment by Soccermom Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:25 pm

  10. ===Why should Rauner care? ===

    Mrs. Rauner.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:26 pm

  11. === Why should Rauner care? ===

    Because he is the Governor?

    Comment by Hacksaw Jim Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:27 pm

  12. Rich…. Rauner already sleeps with the dogs.

    Comment by Rob Lowe Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:29 pm

  13. Vanillaman:

    The GA leadership had nothing to do with this.

    The Senate President and House Speaker supported extending the tax increase.

    Now, we have a revenue problem, because the tax hike expired.

    And it is up to the governor to suggest a solution. Or not suggest one.

    But the Senate President has made clear that he is not passing anything until the governor lays his budget on the table.

    Comment by Juvenal Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:32 pm

  14. Sorry Soccermom for not adequately explaining. Yes, I meant extending the income tax hike.

    Comment by PublicServant Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:33 pm

  15. - Why should Rauner care? -

    He doesn’t! The ba- zillionaire doesn’t know what it’s like to lose a job or work at minimum wage. He doesn’t care. It means nothing to him.

    Comment by Rob Lowe Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:35 pm

  16. ==- Responsa - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:19 pm:==

    Are you really that dense?

    Comment by Precinct Captain Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:35 pm

  17. Rauner had to be hoping that Quinn and the GA would go ahead an extend the income tax for at least another year to protect their budget. If that’s the case, it explains why he is touring the state blaming unions, Democrats, and everyone he can think of. In the end, he will need more revenue, and an expanded sales tax on services won’t be enough. He’ll have to look at the income tax, and that make for an interesting series of conversations with members of the GA.

    Comment by Pot calling kettle Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:40 pm

  18. Juvenal - beg pardon? Then why didn’t the tax rate extension get passed last spring?

    Comment by Team Sleep Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:41 pm

  19. Rauner seems entirely comfortable with letting the chips fall where they may and just blaming Quinn for all the problems. Thing is, Rauner’s no longer a candidate, he’s the Governor and there will be very real consequences to his inaction.

    Comment by slow down Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:46 pm

  20. = They’ll have to find the money somewhere, either through new revenues or skimming special state funds.=

    A lot of those special state funds paid for by fees, grants and licenses and have a specific purpose. Rauner needs to understand the impact of sweeping those funds before he touches them.

    Comment by Sangamo Sam Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:46 pm

  21. ==A lot of those special state funds paid for by fees, grants and licenses and have a specific purpose.===

    Yep, but there’s a whole lot of excess cash in many of those funds.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:47 pm

  22. Rauner and friends said the income tax should be allowed to expire, it wasn’t needed. So much for that theory. The wheels are starting to come off already.

    Comment by DuPage Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:48 pm

  23. One way to help solve this is to cut cost. Surprised that looking at fraud, waste and abuse of this funding has not been mentioned. Many of the downstream “recipients’ of these payments are friends and/or family members of the working parent.

    Comment by Been there Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:48 pm

  24. Skimming from special state funds was an egregious act for Repub lawmakers when done under Blago. I wonder whether it would be viewed similarly under Rauner. Maybe Rauner could hire John Filan to handle.

    Comment by slow down Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:52 pm

  25. We find ourselves in trouble because “we care” so much. We care about kids, we care about the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees. We care about ham and the green eggs that go so well with those pig parts. We care about everything, WE-CARE-GOSH-DARNIT and we are good people. But we never seem to care about how to pay for any of this. And whether we like it or not, caring costs cash, and lots of it. So once again, can we care? I care the most because I know how to spend money we just don’t have and if you say I don’t care, you are a racist. The cost of caring is high indeed…

    Comment by Anon Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:53 pm

  26. This is a surprise? Didn’t Quinn offer two budgets last year: A desired (5% stays) and a doomsday (5% lapses) version? Which one was passed by the GA? Just the start. And education will get more money? Right.

    Comment by zatoichi Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:55 pm

  27. Is Sen. Syverson suggesting any new revenues or he only in his typical complainypants mode?

    Comment by David's Blanket Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:56 pm

  28. Don’t help working mothers with daycare and see what happens when they can’t afford to work.

    Comment by lil enchilada Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:57 pm

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