State Journal-Register: Court ruling helps some child care providers amid ongoing state budget impasse


From the State Journal-Register

by Dean Olsen

Despite the state budget impasse, payments will continue to flow on time to home-based day care providers serving more than 104,000 children throughout Illinois, officials from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration said Wednesday.

Until Friday’s ruling by a Mount Vernon-based Illinois appellate court panel, the state Department of Human Services — controlled by the governor — had told child care providers the opposite.

But because the ruling doesn’t apply to the 3,000 for-profit and not-for-profit child care centers in the Child Care Assistance Program, the continuing lack of an approved fiscal year 2016 budget likely will mean payments delays for them.

Those centers serve the remaining 75,600 children in the program, or 42 percent. Without a budget solution, they would begin to see payment delays in August for the services they provided this month to children from low-income families.

Friday’s appellate court ruling, upholding a St. Clair County Circuit Court decision, ensured that state government workers will keep collecting their full salaries even though under state law there’s no authority to spend money without a budget.

The Rauner administration hadn’t made it clear until Tuesday whether people who operate home-based day care businesses were covered by the ruling.

SEIU Healthcare, the union that represents the 28,000 home day care providers who serve children in the assistance program, said it was somewhat relieved by the news.

But the union, which was verbally informed by Rauner aides Tuesday, expressed both relief and frustration with the Republican governor.

“Though this is a welcome bit of good news, we remain skeptical of Bruce Rauner’s commitment to helping vulnerable populations in Illinois, including working parents and kids served by the child care program,” said Brynn Seibert, SEIU Healthcare Illinois vice president.

Seibert said SEIU, which was among the unions that brought the lawsuit against the state July 2, was confident at the time of Friday’s ruling that home-based day care providers would benefit.

Read the full article from the State Journal-Register

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