* Subscribers know the back story on this press release…
Governor’s office spokesman Lance Trover released the following statement regarding Senate Bill 570:
“As a result of bipartisan discussions with legislators concerning the future of the Child Care Assistance Program, the Rauner administration today plans to amend the emergency rule it filed at the beginning of the fiscal year. Under the amended rule, income eligibility will rise to 162% of the federal poverty level while current co-pays will remain intact. Other eligibility and restrictions will also be lifted pending further review and legislative consultation. Additionally, the governor’s office will establish a bipartisan, bicameral task force aimed at ensuring the long-term stability of the program.
“The governor’s office thanks the serious, good-faith negotiations by members of the legislature who made today’s announcement a reality. This bipartisan agreement will allow us to avoid the unintended consequences and costs that SB 570 would have brought. By working together, we will be able to bring financial stability to an important program valued by members of both parties.”
*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…
State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement before her tour of the YWCA Kankakee Child Care Center to bring attention to the lack of child care funding:
“Every month that goes by without a budget hurts working families and children in ways that are immeasurable. Investing in child care is the responsible thing to do no matter which way you look at it, no matter which political party you belong to. I have been fighting for months to get more children into classrooms as soon as possible and give providers the stability they desperately need to make it through this crisis.
If Senate Bill 570 comes back to the Senate for a vote, I have agreed to hold it only as long as a the temporary rule is actually passed in the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on Nov. 17, giving thousands of providers and kids immediate relief. It’s past time for us to work together in every way we can every time we can. Our children deserve nothing less.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher…
“Now, at the 11th hour and ONLY AFTER bipartisan public outcry across Illinois over the pain and suffering caused by cuts that have kicked 70,000 kids off child care, Bruce Rauner comes to the table. His arbitrary actions, which should never have happened in the first place, show just why, deal or no deal, we still need Senate Bill 570 to pass tomorrow, to remove the ability for a governor, Democrat or Republican, to use unchecked executive power to destroy by rule those programs created by statute.
Since the governor apparently now realizes the needless pain caused by his actions, we call on him to expedite the rules returning children to the program instead of figuring out ways to use them as political pawns.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** From sponsoring Rep. Jehan Gordon…
Thousands of vulnerable children, parents and childcare centers have been affected by the devastating emergency rule that was enacted on July 1st. They all desperately need stability and certainly in these tumultuous times. It is my full intent to run SB 570 tomorrow afternoon in the House of Representatives. This legislation brings long term stability back to the Child Care Assistance Program. My primary focus and concern is that of children, families and childcare centers that need access to this vital work program now. We must pass SB 570 to statutorily make certain that our children are never put in this kind of limbo ever again.
*** UPDATE 4 *** Press release…
We applaud Governor Rauner’s decision today to suspend damaging emergency rule changes made to the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) on July 1, 2015. We also applaud our legislative champions in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly who refused to let children and families be anything but the highest priority in our state. Of course, we would also like to acknowledge the thousands of families and advocates statewide who continue to make sure the Governor and the General Assembly know just how important this issue is.
Key changes announced by the Governor today include:
• Increasing eligibility to 162 percent of Federal Poverty Level from 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
• Suspending child support requirements instituted on July 1, 2015.
• Suspending restrictive background checks for relative caregivers.
While this agreement is a good start, we recognize that there is significant work to be done in order to end the chaos that has been created in lieu of a state budget. We look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly on a state budget solution that includes sufficient revenue to fully fund all programs that low-income, hard-working families rely on.
Fight Crime: Invest In Kids Illinois
Illinois Action for Children
Latino Policy Forum
Ounce of Prevention Fund
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Voices for Illinois Children
*** UPDATE 5 *** From our pal Emily Miller…
The voices of children, families, and providers regarding the devastating impact of the Governor Rauner’s July 1st decision to cut child care in Illinois have been heard. Today, the governor and lawmakers announced a deal to immediately restore access to affordable child care to all families at or below 162% of the federal poverty level and to eliminate additional barriers put in place earlier this year.
The deal made by lawmakers and the governor means that, effective immediately, a single mom of two children entering the work force can access child care assistance in Illinois if she makes less than 162% of the federal poverty level, or $2,713 per month (roughly $15.50 per hour 40 hours per week.)
In addition, Governor Rauner has agreed that once a budget passes, eligibility for the child care program will return to the pre-cut level of 185% of the federal poverty level. That means a single mom of two who earns up to 185% of the federal poverty level, or $3,098 per month, will once again have access to child care assistance.
After 5 months of devastating cuts to child care, families and advocates are understandably wary of deals that might compromise Illinois’ commitment to ensuring families can remain self-sufficient by working.
That’s why, in addition to the changes announced today, Voices for Illinois Children believes it’s still important for lawmakers to take stand by voting yes on Senate Bill 570—a move that gives lawmakers and their constituents a means to ensure all parties to this deal remain accountable. A bipartisan ‘yes’ vote on SB570, and its passage in the House, will provide the much-needed and lasting proof that access to quality, affordable child care is a priority in this state.
If the governor and lawmakers continue to operate in good faith, as they have throughout the negotiation, the deal will move forward as planned. If they do not, the bill will be in a position to be placed on the Governor’s desk to eliminate the cuts for good.
Overall, the ability of governor and lawmakers to work alongside each other is encouraging in the context of the larger budget fight. Voices hopes this negotiation can serve as the framework for making further progress on the many issues impacting Illinois’ children and families.
We look forward to working with the governor and lawmakers to pass a budget with the revenue needed to fully fund vital programs for children and families.
Thanks for your hard work, and we’ll be in touch soon.
Policy & Advocacy Director
Voices for Illinois Children