Parents, Child Care Providers, and Advocates Join Rising Chorus Calling on the House of Representatives to Urgently Pass SB 570 to Save Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
CHICAGO – The Rockford Register Star published an editorial today urgently calling on Gov. Rauner to stop his administration’s agenda to dismantle Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and called on state lawmakers to save the vital program for working parents.
The Register Star’s editorial follows the Springfield Journal Register’s reporting that because of Gov. Rauner’s unilateral changes to Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program at least 15,000 working families have been denied access to affordable child care, forcing many to remain unemployed or quit their current jobs altogether. In order to project Illinois families from Rauner’s cuts, parents and child care providers are asking their legislative representatives to support SB 570.
In addition, Innovation Illinois, a think tank which analyses public policy issues in the state, also just published an op-ed in the Rockford Register Star highlighting Gov. Rauner’s emergency rules to Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and how they are inflicting grave damage to the state’s economy. Innovation Illinois’ economic impact study found that the state’s caregiver programs directly support 77,000 jobs in the child care industry. And when those employees spend their combined wages it creates another 43,000 jobs here in Illinois. Gov. Rauner’s attempts to destroy CCAP will cost tens of thousands of jobs, and when coupled with parents being forced out of the workforce for lack of child care, the economic damage will be significant.
Rockford Register Star Editorial:
On Oct. 13, a group of Rockford-area child care providers banded together to write a letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner to warn him that his “emergency” order to lower subsidies to needy families applying for child care after July 1 is causing damage to the economy and to low-income families.
It will also put many day care providers in Illinois out of business.
Rauner’s draconian rule reduced the subsidy for new applicants for day care assistance to the point of ridiculousness. It effectively eliminates aid for more than 90 percent of those who applied after July 1. People will either quit their jobs or leave their children home.
We remind Republican Rauner that day care assistance was a Republican idea designed in 1997 during the welfare-reform era to help parents get off welfare and allow them to get jobs. It has been successful and, until now, bipartisan.
As the day care directors wrote to the governor: “Under your emergency rule, the Child Care Assistance Program no longer allows full-time minimum wage earners to access child care. Have you considered the tax revenue being lost as parents are forced to leave the workforce and our staff lose their jobs because of low enrollments in our centers? Does this make any sense to you?”
The House can restore the governor’s day care cuts Tuesday by passing the House version of Senate Bill 570, a measure that takes 71 votes, a supermajority, to pass. Democrats have exactly 71 votes in the House.
They are not likely to get help from Republicans, who are all afraid of incurring the wrath of Rauner, who is creating his own Republican political organization to elect “friendlies” in 2016. And if you’re a Republican, you want to be a “friendly” lest you get surprised by a primary challenger put up by the governor’s minions.
Rauner could rescind his emergency order. We hope he does. His “emergency order” is penny foolish and pound foolish.