November 2015

On the Eve of the Crucial Vote to Save Illinois’ Child Care Program, Rockford-Area Lawmakers Pledge to Support SB 570 to Stop Gov. Rauner’s Extreme Agenda

Despite Gov. Rauner’s Last Minute Appeals and 11th Hour Bargain, Providers and Parents Urge Passage of SB 570

Contact: scott.vogel@seiuhcil.org

 

(November 9th, 2015, Rockford) — State Rep. Litesa Wallace and State Senator Steve Stadelman held a press conference on the eve of the crucial vote on Tuesday, November 10th in Springfield to save the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The Rockford-area leaders pledged their support for SB 570. Child care providers from across the state are urgently called on all state representatives to cast a vote for SB 570, and support working families over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda.

 

Rockford ABC: State Rep Wallace, Sen. Stadelman Pledge Support for IL Child Care Program

 

Rockford CBS: After Trying to Destroy Child Care Program, Gov. Rauner Finally Seeks Compromise

The legislation, SB 570, will save the state’s child care program from being systematically destroyed because of Gov. Rauner’s extreme eligibility requirements that are denying 90% of all parents seeking assistance. As an example of Rauner’s new eligibility rules which he implemented unilaterally starting on July 1st, a single parent working a full time minimum wage job now currently makes too much money to be eligible for child care assistance.


Background:

Home-based child care providers, who are small businesses, are at risk of being forced to close their doors unless urgent action is taken.  In that scenario parents will be forced to leave their jobs if they cannot access affordable child care, or have to patch together potentially unreliable child care services from those who likely don’t have early learning training or any experience.

As the Rockford Register Star editorialized on Oct. 19th, advocates from across the state are urgently calling on Gov. Rauner to stop his administration’s agenda to dismantle Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program.

And in a memo released last week by Gov. Raune’s administration lobbying state lawmakers not to vote for SB 570, Rauner revealed the rapid deterioration of Illinois’ child care program. The administration showed a drop of  70,000 children being served in just three months— down from the 160,000 figure provided by the former state CCAP administrator, Linda Saterfield, in her August 11th testimony to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a statement that led to her dismissal for openly admitting that the impact of Rauner’s cuts would be “devastating.”

Recent research has shown that more than 1 in 5 children in Illinois are living in poverty, meaning more than 600,000 children.  In Illinois, a recent report from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute showed that a full-time minimum-wage earner would have to spend 74% of their annual earnings on child care for an infant without assistance. And yet, under the rules justified in what Rauner released today, full-time minimum wage earners no longer qualify for CCAP. How can this be justified?

Lastly, 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.

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BREAKING: Last-Minute Rauner Jockeying on Home Healthcare Does Not Remove Need for House Bill 2482; Seniors and People with Disabilities Used as Political Pawns

IMG_1557FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Monday, November 09, 2015

Contact: Graeme.Zielinski@seiuhcil.org,

 

CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher following news that Bruce Rauner is, for the moment, abandoning harmful new eligibility requirements for seniors and people with disabilities that would be prevented by House Bill 2482:

“As with child care, home healthcare for vulnerable people in Illinois will remain under the sword of Bruce Rauner until and unless his power to do harm is offset. Therefore, we urge that legislators vote for House Bill 2482 when they convene Tuesday and protect seniors and people with disabilities from ever being used as political pawns. This is not a time for celebration: We should never have gotten to this point in the first place.”

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BREAKING: “Yes” Vote on SB 570 Still Needed Despite 11th Hour Rauner Efforts

CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher following breaking news Monday that Bruce Rauner had negotiated a deal to partially reverse his disastrous and arbitrary cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program:

“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.”

 

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Mobile Billboards Launch Statewide Highlighting Dangers of “Bruce Rauner’s Illinois”

Rauner truck_mobile_billboards_crop_580w

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Friday, November 06, 2015

Contact: Graeme.Zielinski@seiuhcil.org

From Magnificent Mile to Springfield, Billboards Precede Crucial Votes in Springfield on Tuesday, November. 10th Votes to Save Illinois’ Child Care Program, Protect Senior Home Care

CHICAGO – As the future of child care and home healthcare in Illinois hangs in the balance, mobile billboards began runs on multiple routes throughout Illinois TODAY, including on the Magnificent Mile; past Bruce Rauner’s former corporate headquarters; and in Springfield.

The visibility is leading up to the expected votes Nov. 10 to reverse Rauner’s massive cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program—and the possibility of overriding Rauner’s amendatory veto on home healthcare for seniors and people with disabilities.

In Chicago, Galesburg, Mt. Vernon, Peoria, and Springfield, mobile billboards are traveling high-traffic routes to warn local residents and visitors alike of the dangers of “Bruce Rauner’s Illinois” in the lead up to Tuesday.

Rauner’s eligibility rule changes to the Child Care Assistance Program have denied access to 70,000 previously eligible children, landing Illinois dead last in the nation for child care.

Today, Rauner issued an amendatory veto to HB 2482, a bill  to protect 34,000 seniors and people with disabilities from Rauner’s attempt to kick them out of home care programs they rely on by raising Determination of Need (DON) scores for eligibility.

 

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A Fateful Week: The Future of Child Care and Home Healthcare In Illinois Hangs in the Balance

FROM: Keith Kelleher, president, SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana60219_Signs_PROOF_1pg_Rauners_Cuts_Hurt_Families_Page_1

(November 8th, 2015, Chicago) –This week will go a long way toward determining the future of child care and home healthcare in Illinois and whether Bruce Rauner will retain the ability to hold our social safety net hostage as leverage to achieve his extreme political agenda.

On Tuesday, November 10th the General Assembly is expected to act on legislation to reverse Rauner eligibility cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program. These cuts, by his own estimation, already have denied 70,000 kids the quality, affordable child care for which they previously had been eligible. This is by far the biggest injury that program, which has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, has ever suffered.

Also on Tuesday, legislators are expected to take up an amendatory veto by Rauner on House Bill 2482, which would reverse eligibility requirements that were meant to exclude some 34,000 seniors and people with disabilities from the home healthcare services that keep them in their homes—and out of costlier long-term care that would cost taxpayers dearly.

In private conversations, many Republicans have told us how pained they have been to be put in this position of voting against the most vulnerable people in their communities and against programs that actually benefit the economy, save taxpayer dollars and help people who often are their friends and neighbors and, in some cases, their flesh and blood. Some of them have actually broken down in tears describing the threats and intimidation they’ve faced from Bruce Rauner and his allies, who themselves have made very clear they are willing to do or say anything they believe will help achieve their union-busting, non-budgetary goals.

Enough is enough.

The votes this week are a chance for Illinois to take a step back from the brink to which Rauner has driven us as a state, stand up for the successful child care and home healthcare programs, and to commit to a new path toward getting the budget crisis resolved. Without hostages.

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Rauner’s Political Justification for Child Care Destruction Exposes Little Care for Struggling Families

RaunerLaughScreenCapFROM: Beth Berendsen, Child Care Research Analyst, SEIU Healthcare Illinois

The Bruce Rauner administration’s cynical political screed released today regarding Senate Bill 570, which reverses his arbitrary rules changes to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP),  exposes a shocking truth: That his unprecedented eligibility requirements, which have made Illinois dead last in the nation in providing safe and affordable child care to working parents,  truly are destroying the program.

The Rauner justification, released in advance of an expected vote Nov. 10 on SB570 and most certainly meant to influence wavering members of his caucus,  states that more than 90,000 children currently are receiving CCAP subsidies. This number represents a reduction of 80,000 in the average number of children served in the previous eight years. The 90,000 figure also represents a decrease BY HALF of the children that were served in FY2015. This is devastating.

What Rauner did today is reveal a program deterioration so rapid that it is a drop of  70,000 children being served in just three months— down from the 160,000 figure provided by the former state CCAP administrator, Linda Saterfield, in her August 11th testimony to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a statement that led to her dismissal for openly admitting that the impact of Rauner’s cuts would be “devastating.” She was right.

Recent research has shown that more than 1 in 5 children in Illinois are living in poverty, meaning more than 600,000 children.  In Illinois, a recent report from the nonpartisan  Economic Policy Institute showed that a full-time minimum-wage earner would have to spend 74% of their annual earnings on child care for an infant without assistance. And yet, under the rules justified in what Rauner released today, full-time minimum wage earners no longer qualify for CCAP. How can this be justified?

Work supports, including the Child Care Assistance Program, are vital to helping low-income parents continue to work and access high-quality child care which improve child outcomes and stability, goals to which Rauner has professed. But the number that Rauner now boasts about—90,000 children currently being served— represents a heartbreaking loss of opportunity for 90,000 others without his level of personal fortune. It also reminds us that he is interested exclusively in political power and has no concept or care in investing in real solutions to help the struggling families of Illinois.

Whether wittingly or not, what Rauner released today actually provides complete and compelling *justification* for passage of Senate Bill 570.

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Bruce Rauner Remarks on Child Care Show Out-of-Touch Elitism

CHICAGO – Following is the response of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Vice President James Muhammad to a remarkable series of comments today by Bruce Rauner, one in which he claimed, “I’m one of the biggest donors to child care in Illinois,” even as tens of thousands of families are being denied child care as a result of rules changes he promulgated.

“The fact that Bruce Rauner believes his personal philanthropy somehow absolves him of his brick-by-brick destruction of the Child Care Assistance Program and for earning our newly-minted ‘Worst State in America for Child Care’ label shows how wildly out-of-touch he is with the problems of everyday people. If Bruce Rauner is truly serious about his personal commitment to child care as a private citizen, he should put his money where his mouth is and write a check to cover his cuts. We all know he can afford it.”

 

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