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*** UPDATED x1 *** JCAR splits on party lines

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* JCAR, keep in mind, is a bipartisan commission, so it’s split evenly between the two sides.

Press release…

On Party Line Vote, State Panel Fails to Suspend Governor Rauner’s Irresponsible Child Care Cuts

Voices for Illinois Children is deeply disappointed by the decision not to suspend the Governor’s cuts to child care reached today by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).

Voices continues to assert that on July 1, 2015, Governor Rauner improperly used emergency rulemaking to change the Child Care Assistance Program, or CCAP. The purpose of CCAP is to ensure that low-income, working families have access so safe, quality early learning environments for their children.

“Lawmakers who did not vote to suspend the Governor’s cuts to child care are on the wrong side of this fight for the future of low- and middle-income families,” said Emily Miller, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Voices for Illinois Children. “Ensuring that parents can go to work and have a safe, enriching place to leave their children is not a partisan issue, and it’s unfortunate that some members of the committee chose politics over children and families.”

With the Governor’s cuts, 90 percent of new applicants who would have qualified are no longer eligible and will be denied child care services through CCAP. Only families that fall within one of four priority populations may now receive child care assistance:

Advocates will continue to ask lawmakers to examine the impact of the Governor’s cuts to child care. Members of JCAR have another opportunity to vote to suspend the Governor’s cuts to child care at their next hearing.

“Lawmakers on this panel will have another chance to make things right for children and families, and we hope they’ll take it,” said Miller.

*** UPDATE *** Another press release…

As the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules failed to find the three-fifths majority necessary to block Governor Rauner’s devastating blow to the Child Care Assistance Program, Senate Democrats called for immediate action on legislation revoking his hastily implemented rules, which have already left 2,000 needy families without affordable child care.

“It’s my hope that we will be able to send a strong message to those people who are doing exactly what we told them to do, which is get up every day and go to work or go to school, and that as a policy, we don’t turn children away,” said Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) while presenting Senate Bill 570 for a vote last week. Hutchinson is the lead sponsor of the legislation.

Rauner used a secretive emergency rulemaking process to circumvent both the General Assembly and public comment. His new eligibility requirements for child care assistance leave out an estimated 90 percent of new applicants who would have qualified for help before July 1 and will again if the Senate Democrats’ plan prevails. Under the Rauner rules, even most working parents making minimum wage are not eligible for assistance with child care. The average cost of care for an infant in Illinois is more than $12,000 per year.

The emergency rules took effect on July 1 and, without legislative action, will remain in effect for 150 days. JCAR, a legislative oversight committee that reviews executive branch rules, had an opportunity this morning to block Rauner’s move to decimate the child care program, but supporters fell short of the three-fifths majority they needed, as Republicans on the committee sided with the governor over working families. The Senate approved the measure restoring the existing eligibility standards last Wednesday; next, the House must vote on it before it goes to the governor.

“Emergency rules are getting put in place that undo the very fabric of things that help make Illinois a competitive and compassionate place,” Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago 7th) said in support of SB 570. “If we undo this child care program, we’re not only making it difficult for families to work, we’re undermining our whole effort to do preschool for all. It’s hugely problematic that by an emergency rule we’re undermining so much of what’s important.”

“What’s happened now is that the governor has made a policy decision to throw a huge number of families off of child care and is trying to advance it via an emergency rule,” Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said. Biss is the proposal’s chief co-sponsor. “That’s a bizarre decision for him to make… It is our prerogative to restore to the legislature the authority to guide policy on this question.”

posted by Rich Miller
Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:08 pm


  1. That is a tough vote to take. Lucky for the Republicans they were smart enough to avoid putting any potential targets on JCAR.

    That being said. I’d like some justification from the administration on this. Hard to be “competitive and compassionate” when you are voluntarily denying access to child care for working families.

    Comment by Rahm'sMiddleFinger Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:14 pm

  2. It’s a good program, but we can’t afford it.

    Comment by Matt P Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:16 pm

  3. Can we get Sandack back on Chicago Tonight with Lou Land to discuss this JCAR vote like tonight maybe?

    Comment by PublicServant Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:18 pm

  4. ===It’s a good program, but we can’t afford it.===

    Sure WE can, and WE should.

    Comment by PublicServant Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:19 pm

  5. Can we afford lots of low-income single parents on the welfare rolls instead? Because that’s what it will come to, Matt P.

    Comment by Tournaround Agenda Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:19 pm

  6. HBO - “Dad’s Home State” - Season 1, Episode 20

    Diana is upset by JCAR, Diana’s state employee tells Diana it’s Mike Madigan and the legislators he controls. Bruce breaks auto-pen to prevent a possible Amendatory Veto, “ck” emails that Lincoln County just passed the Rauner Resolution. Comedy, 64 minutes.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:19 pm

  7. Willy, you should stop giving away your script ideas for free in the comments. I think you have the next hit show on your hands.

    Comment by Tournaround Agenda Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:22 pm

  8. Healthy people working is the foundation of our economy. With this vote, the Republicans on JCAR are asking low income working parents to choose between their own children’s safety, and their very livelihoods. The nature of low income work does not give parents the flexibility that many of us have to juggle things around when a child is ill or child care is unavailable. Are we ok with the choices we are giving these parents: stay at home and lose your job, OR go to work but leave your child in an unsafe or unsupervised position?

    Comment by Pawn Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:24 pm

  9. This is a “reform” program designed to help lower other government expenditures.

    Is that too complex for Arduin to understand?

    Comment by walker Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:26 pm

  10. I don’t recall JCAR ever challenging an administration on something like this. The Administration can still meet the intention of a code while changing the eligibility of a disbursement - if the code doesn’t specify those eligible for it.

    I think trying to use JCAR on this issue was stretching its powers more than a little bit.

    The purpose of CCAP is to ensure that low-income, working families have access so safe, quality early learning environments for their children.

    The Administration isn’t ending that. It has taken advantage of an ability to specify who is eligible.

    Frustrating. However, I can’t see how JCAR could have stepped in unless there were more specifics.

    Comment by VanillaMan Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:32 pm

  11. It’s a good programs that…

    1) helps low income men and women earn wages and work;

    2) helps kids attain basic skills so they can begin kindergarten ready to learn;

    3) connects families to the community for local sustained economic development.

    …it’s well worth the investment.

    An ounce of prevention….is worth a pound of cure — Ben Franklin.

    Oh, the irony.

    Comment by 47th ward mom Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:33 pm

  12. OW- love your script summaries. They are accurate — except isn’t this episode a tragedy, and not a comedy?

    Comment by Keyrock Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:34 pm

  13. - TA -,

    Thanks, if I could get the waivers signed, a mocumentary would be funnier than episodic.

    - Keyrock -,

    Maybe, “Farce”?

    Comment by Oswego Willy Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:40 pm

  14. Totally not surprising and this is what I unfortunately predicted when I commented on Rich’s post about Ounce of Prevention endorsing a joint letter calling for a change in the Emergency Rule. It was unfortunately very predictable that this would be the vote in JCAR.

    Comment by Rod Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:42 pm

  15. $10,000 for a family of four is too much to qualify for help??

    Rauner pays $10,000 for dinner for 4

    Comment by is it just me? Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:47 pm

  16. “Secretive”? I think not. Anyone at the top at Voices who didn’t know about rule-making was slacking off. Most of the commenters here know about it. May

    Comment by steve schnorf Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 1:54 pm

  17. This is devastating for low income families with young children. Look for more senior citizens working at Walmart and McDonalds as many younger parent’s who work these jobs (and other low wage jobs) will have to quit because they cannot afford child care.

    Comment by Children First Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 2:00 pm

  18. No money for childcare? Let them eat cake!

    Comment by Get a Job!! Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 2:10 pm

  19. Mr/MsKeyrock:
    except isn’t this episode a tragedy, and not a comedy
    It is a big yuck it up time to TeamBungle and the other 1%ers

    Comment by Anonin' Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 2:13 pm

  20. I’ve been using “Comedy”, ironically. Sorry if I wasn’t clear in that snark.

    My bad.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 2:42 pm

  21. @OW

    Comedy is tragedy plus time.

    Comment by How Ironic Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 3:02 pm

  22. No matter how many mailers you aend, this kind of community impact will be held to the gov, and it will spread word of mouth.

    Comment by Ghost Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 3:14 pm

  23. This program was bipartisan welfare reform back in the day.

    The GOP has changed, and not for the better.

    Comment by Wordslinger Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 3:43 pm

  24. This would be a good thing for the full General Assembly to vote on. Bet we see a bill/amendment.

    Comment by 360 Degree TurnAround Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 3:44 pm

  25. - How Ironic -,

    That might be this Governor’s tag line.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 3:59 pm

  26. Shameful.

    GOP members should definitely be ashamed

    Comment by Langhorne Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:00 pm

  27. Every social safety net program will have to be tightened up to means test eligibility. There is simply not enough taxpayer money around.

    Comment by Let'sMovetoNorthDakota Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:04 pm

  28. If we can afford a $4 billion alcohol beverage subsidy and a $1 billion give away to politically connected Casino license holders, we can probably help a couple thousand families who want to work, to break the dependency cycle a leg up with a child-care assistance subsidy.

    Comment by Beaner Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:06 pm

  29. No plan from the governor
    No budget negotiations
    Just pain, expensively and cruelly inflicted, on the most vulnerable.

    Comment by Langhorne Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:07 pm

  30. It’s not a “social safety net” program. It’s a Republican welfare-to-work program. It was at the heart of welfare reform.

    Comment by Wordslinger Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:09 pm

  31. ==Every social safety net program will have to be tightened up to means test eligibility. There is simply not enough taxpayer money around.==

    It’s easy to speak in platitudes from the cheap seats. Feel better?

    Comment by Demoralized Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:10 pm

  32. Vanillaman:

    They cannot use the emergency rulemaking process to alter eligibility for the program.

    There is no “emergency”, or imminent threat to the welfare or safety of the public that is addressed through the rule change.

    Comment by Juvenal Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:11 pm

  33. Dear Let’s Move, Illinois is not a highly taxed state. Our income tax is moderate and lower than many of our neighbors.
    Please let me know your plan for providing child care for your two young children while you work, and earn a minimum wage. How do you propose that working parents do this?

    Comment by Pawn Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:12 pm

  34. Billionaires deserve lower taxes. Starving children deserve nothing. Thanks GOP.

    Comment by anon Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:14 pm

  35. There would be enough taxpayer money around if the income tax were to be raised. But the Democrats have been rather silent about that part when they complain about lack of funding for this and other social programs. If they are convinced they are in the right, why can’t they come out and say, we want to fund child care up to x income level and we want to raise your income tax x amount to do it.

    Comment by Cassandra Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:16 pm

    The Annual Gaming Board Report is an interesting read. It appears to be an untouched pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    Comment by Beaner Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:17 pm

  37. Folks…JCAR is to place checks and balances to the Executive Branch so it does no over reach. Democratics on JCAR had previous blocked Democratic Govs (Blago/Quinn) on some end arounds. Todays action, of using Emergency Rules, does put a scar on the process. When was the last time that a JCAR vote went along party lines? Regardless, who is controlling which legislators… The pot cannot call the kettle black anymore.

    Comment by One to the Dome Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:42 pm

  38. I was just about to post what One to the Dome just posted. In nearly a dozen years in my job I don’t recall ever seeing JCAR vote along party lines like this.

    As dysfunctional as Illinois government is, one element of it that generally works fairly well is rulemaking, thanks largely to JCAR’s oversight. Politicizing JCAR really, really does not bode well for the state. And just who is the one controlling legislators now?

    Comment by Nick Name Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:49 pm

  39. PS. Wasn’t the attempt to politicize JCAR one of the charges against Blago when he was impeached?

    Comment by Nick Name Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 4:50 pm

  40. Creating a crisis to solve a crisis, has never worked. This will be a major catostrophy once the welfare rolls are increased. They do not realize the harm they have just done to this state.

    Comment by A Parent Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 5:10 pm

  41. Just once I would like to see the Democrats who complain about these cuts file a bill to raise the necessary revenue to pay for all their spending. Ask them about revenue and they are speechless, but ask them about spending and they have all sorts of delicious things to say.

    Comment by Just Me Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 5:26 pm

  42. Does our Governor care for the people of Illinois?

    At first blush , I considered “extreme” to be somewhat of an attempt to exaggerate his relentless position regarding his agenda…I was in error…these cuts to childcare are beyond the pale and totally unacceptable in any society that labels itself civilized.

    Comment by Anonymous Redux Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 5:45 pm

  43. Seriously, someone please help with an answer to the question from Dome about a straight party line vote in JCAR on such a contentious issue.

    JCAR is pretty tame 90+ percent of the time. Lots and lots of routine rule changes for state agencies that are opposed by no one.

    I haven’t been around as long as some of the folks here, and I’ve only sat in JCAR meetings maybe 10 times, but this seems very odd to me.

    Comment by DuPage Dave Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 6:42 pm

  44. How does this rule change help the general welfare of the people? Is there another action that promotes the gwotp with the savings this makes.

    Comment by lost in the weeds Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 6:56 pm

  45. For all the GOPers on JCAR and in the governor’s legislative brain trust, they realize they’ve just punched their ticket for floor votes on a bill restoring the old rules? One that will pass and go to the governor?

    I don’t see a method at all, sir.

    Comment by Wordslinger Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 9:34 pm

  46. Although I can’t cite specific examples off the top of my head, party line JCAR votes have happened before. They are fairly rare, but not unheard of.

    Comment by Secret Square Tuesday, Aug 11, 15 @ 11:02 pm

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