Illinois Budget Impasse Impacting Kids

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Thousands of families across Illinois are losing services for their children due to the budget impasse.

Parents and service providers are worried that their babies will not get the necessary services and therapies for development. Parents and providers are calling on Springfield to end the Illinois budget crisis for the sake of infants and believe that there is a solution.

“There is a lot of blame to go around in Springfield. None of the leaders in Springfield have put a revenue bill that would fund these services and so we certainly can point the finger on a lot of people. We’re more interested on getting Springfield to do the right thing. We just urge them to listen to their constituents and choose revenue over these cuts to infants and children and families,” says Neal Waltmire with the Responsible Budget Coalition.

Meanwhile, many parents are worried that they won’t qualify for child care services due to Governor Rauner’s eligibility restrictions to the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program. Representative Litesa Wallace says the need for an amendment to those restrictions is urgent.

“Leadership on both sides f the aisle, along with the governor and both chambers of the house and senate need to come together and come up with compromise. We have working families who are suffering, we have seniors, children, and the disabled being the ones caught in the middle of this impasse and I really do urge everyone to come up with a compromise so we don’t continue to hurt the people who need us the most,” says Litesa Wallace, (D) – IL State Representative.

Representative Wallace says that Governor Rauner’s new eligibility restrictions are so extreme that a single parent working a full time minimum wage job now makes too much money to qualify for child care assistance.

Governor Rauner’s rule changes to the Child Care Assistance Program went into effect on July 1 of this year and thousands of parents applying to the program have been denied care.

Rauner’s changes were approved by the senate, but not the house. Wallace says they need 71 votes for it to change.

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