But still moves back-door cuts to throw thousands of parents, children off the vital program
On August 28th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 3213/SB1705 which would restore access to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) for families enrolled full-time in non-TANF education and training programs, by adding them to the program’s priority populations in statute.
In July 2015 Governor Rauner unilaterally restricted parents enrolled in an education or training program from CCAP eligibility and they were NOT reinstated when the program was partially restored later that year. Advocates estimate that by adding these families to the priority populations would restore CCAP services to between 4,000 – 5,000 children.
Rauner’s 2015 cuts CCAP eliminated nearly 40,000 families thanks to education and income level restrictions. At the time of the cuts, Rauner promised that as soon as a budget is secured the program would be fully restored. While reinstating the education eligibility to the program is an important step forward for thousands of families- Rauner still needs to follow through with his promise on restoring income eligibility to 185% of the federal poverty line. Restoring the income eligibility to 185% the federal poverty line would allow a family of three that makes $37,777 to be eligible for CCAP versus the current eligibility of $33,080 for a family of three.
Rauner signs this legislation on top of the looming threat of thousands of children being eliminated from CCAP thanks to heavily burdensome mandatory training requirements on providers. This crisis in CCAP can easily be avoided with a federally-allowed exemption of relative care providers from the mandatory training requirements and an extension on the September 30, 2017 deadline.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, who represent around 19,000 licensed and unlicensed child care providers, demand that Governor Rauner restore eligibility for families to 185% of the poverty line and exempt relative care providers from the mandatory training program. Child Care Providers and advocates will be delivering thousands of postcards to Governor Rauner’s office at the Thompson Center to demand that he fully restore CCAP and stop the backdoor cuts.
Advocates for seniors, caregivers, General Assembly and aging community unite to protect critical services for Illinois’ most vulnerable population
Chicago – The following is a statement on behalf of Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Caring Across Generations, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in response to the withdrawal of rules that would have forced 36,000 vulnerable Illinois seniors out of the Community Care Program and into the unproven and untested Community Reinvestment Program:
“Our coalition welcomes news that the Department on Aging will be withdrawing their prior Community Reinvestment Program (CRP) rules from the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), and we are ready to continue the work of building a stronger Community Care Program that will meet the needs of future aging Illinoisans while protecting their health, safety, and dignity.
“Our coalition has opposed the CRP rules since they first appeared in the Governor’s FY17 budget proposal and since then they have been rejected by advocates, seniors who stood to be impacted, caregivers, senior service providers, and by the General Assembly in their recent bipartisan budget vote. We want to thank state lawmakers who stood up for Illinois seniors throughout this process. We are especially grateful for the leadership of State Senator Dan Biss and State Representatives Greg Harris and Anna Moeller.
“As we have stated from day one, we are ready and willing to work with IDOA, the Rauner administration, and the new Community Care Program Services Task Force to strengthen the successful Community Care Program to utilize each taxpayer dollar as efficiently as possible while simultaneously enabling Illinoisans to age in our communities with the services and support they need.”
Child care providers, parents face looming crisis to Child Care Assistance Program which could leave thousands of children without care.
On Tuesday, August 22, the House Human Services committee met to hold a Subject Matter Hearing surrounding a looming crisis in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Child Care providers and parents say that backdoor cuts in the form of mandatory training requirements will eliminate thousands of families from CCAP by September 30th.
“I am really worried that many CCAP providers will not be able to finish the training by September 30th and that it will be like 2015 again- with thousands of children without care while their parents are at work. Back in 2015 parents lost their jobs, or had to drop out school because they have kids. I see these training as a backdoor cut on the program. Right now thousands of CCAP providers haven’t been as lucky to finish the training as I have.” said Annie Wilder, a grandmother who cares for her grandchildren and SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana member.
The backdoor cuts come in the form of federal mandatory training requirements that must be completed by the end of September, largely impacting “Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care”, which provides care vital care for low-income people in a trusted setting.
On top of the trainings being long and largely inaccessible, the administration is also requiring providers to pay for their own training and miss days of work.
At the hearing Jamaine Wells, SEIU HCII member and child care provider, told the committee that “The state can exempt relative providers like me from the mandatory training. The state can also give us more time and provide us more resources to get trained. We need solutions and right now the state is not providing them.”
Providers and parents asked House Human Services committee to put pressure on the Illinois Department of Human Services to exempt relative providers from these trainings, a carve-out allowed by the federal requirements. This exemption would save thousands of families from losing vital child care.
INDEPENDENCE LOST: New Report Reveals Threats Posed by Rauner Plan to Drastically Cut Home Care for Illinois Seniors
36,000 seniors remain in limbo as advocates call on Administration to WITHDRAW HARMFUL RULES
Chicago – Alzheimer’s Association Illinois, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Illinois Council of Case Coordination Units, Caring Across Generations, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois released a new report that further illustrates concerns and problems that plague Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed Community Reinvestment Program (CRP), a controversial initiative that aims to force 36,000 vulnerable Illinois seniors out of the successful Community Care Program (CCP) via a $120 million cut.
Under the CRP, seniors currently receiving critical home care services through the CCP who are not enrolled in Medicaid would see their trusted caregivers replaced with a patchwork of replacement services like Uber drivers, housekeeping and laundry services, and meal vouchers.
Despite the General Assembly’s rejection of the CRP in bipartisan fashion during the recent budget vote, the Rauner administration has yet to withdraw the rule changes through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).
The new report warns of adverse outcomes to seniors, caregivers, and families if the Rauner rules are approved. Further, it highlights the increased cost to taxpayers as seniors are forcibly relocated to nursing home care when unable to navigate the untested and unproven program.
With new research in hand, advocates have renewed calls for the Rauner administration to withdraw the proposed CRP rules, and for the newly created DOA Community Care Program Services Task Force to heed warnings laid out in the research when developing recommendations to ensure that the targeted 36,000 seniors, many of whom cycle in and out of poverty and Medicaid, can remain in their homes and communities with dignity.
Leading senior advocates and the union representing 25,000 home care aides in the Community Care Program left out of Task Force after public criticism of Rauner plan to ration care
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s scheme to cut 36,000 Illinois seniors from the vastly successful Community Care Program (CRP) by forcing them into an untested and unproven initiative, the so-called Community Reinvestment Program, was met with intense public outcry from day one. SEIU Healthcare Illinois and numerous aging advocates were outspoken against the Governor’s plan and it appears are now being PURPOSELY left out of the Community Care Program Services Task Force, mandated to look into ways to improve services for seniors.
Rauner’s dangerous privatization scheme is still being pursued through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) as Rauner refuses to withdraw the rules-despite state lawmakers approving a bipartisan budget that provides NO funding for the controversial program.
The Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Caring Across Generations, and Health & Medicine Policy Research Group release the following statement, responding to key stakeholders being left out of the CCP Services Task Force:
“Shutting out the key stakeholders from a task force created in a bipartisan fashion to examine ways to improve the function of the Community Care Program must be considered a slap in the face by the Rauner administration to the vulnerable seniors who rely on the program to remain in their homes, the workers hired by these seniors to deliver the vital services and the legislators from both parties who wish to see this vastly successful program thrive.
“Shutting these stakeholders out of the task force seems more like a political vendetta than a commitment to finding real solutions for Illinois seniors.
“Positions on the task force were clearly laid out by state lawmakers with the intention of creating space for organizations with a mission to advocate on behalf of those who stand to be impacted. The Department on Aging instead chose to exclude those organizations after they expressed opposition to the so-called Community Reinvestment Program, resulting in state lawmakers refusing to fund the questionable proposal in the approved state budget.
“While we are disappointed in the Department on Aging’s actions, our coalition remains committed to protecting Illinois seniors and caregivers in the Community Care Program and stands ready to partner with task force members to find responsible solutions to meeting the needs of aging Illinoisans so they can remain living independently in their homes.”
Our monthly membership meetings for home care workers are just around the corner! Mark your calendar for the meeting in your area and RSVP here to let us know you’ll be there.
We’ve got a lot to talk about – from the raises we won in the state budget to bargaining updates for Personal Assistants and home care aides.
Hope to see you there!