Urges Rauner: “Sign the Bill” & Pledges to Protect Child Care in Illinois
CHICAGO-Surrounded by children enrolled in the state’s badly-damaged Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker “walked a day” in the shoes of a low-wage child care provider on Thursday, pledging to support a $15 minimum wage in Illinois and to invest in early childhood development.
Senate Bill 81, the bill to raise the wage by 2022, was transmitted to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday, prompting Pritzker to urge him to, “Sign the bill.”
Pritzker listened at the Dorothy Sutton Branch Head Start center in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago. He played games, handed out snacks and was led by veteran provider Tunja Daniels who, even though she’s a master’s degree candidate with 25 years experience, STILL struggles with low wages.
“Today, I joined child care providers in Chicago to highlight the incredible work they do for our state,” Pritzker said. “Child care workers across Illinois help our families thrive, but they are underpaid and facing devastating cuts to programs under Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership. Illinois deserves a governor who will fight for working families by fully funding social service agencies and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. I’ve spent my life fighting for quality child care and early childhood education for all Illinois kids and I won’t stop as governor.”
Daniels said she was grateful for the opportunity to tell her story to Pritzker.
“It’s nice to meet someone who is willing to listen, unlike Gov. Rauner. It is time early childhood education gets the respect it deserves. We sacrifice and we would like to be respected for our dedication to a field we love,” Daniels said.
In 2015, Rauner unilaterally imposed eligibility restrictions on CCAP and currently 50,000 fewer children are enrolled, resulting in massive dislocation for working families around the state and the closure of hundreds of small businesses.
More than 2.3 MILLION Illinoisans, from all industries and corners of the state, would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $15.