Illinois gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said in a Tuesday news release that Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to broaden access to the Child Care Assistance Program was insufficient for Illinois families.
Rauner outlined the plan in a Monday news release, saying the Illinois Department of Human Services will increase access by raising the income eligibility criteria, which currently stands at 162 percent of the federal poverty level.
Under the plan, that criteria would rise to 185 percent, giving child care to 16,000 more children each month for the rest of Fiscal Year 2018.
Biss, however, said the move was “too little, too late.” He emphasized his own commitment to affordable child care in the release, adding that he and running mate state Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford) had been “leading the fight” for eligibility expansion and a restoration of funding since three years ago while Rauner was “decimating” affordable child care.
“An arrogant, out-of-touch billionaire who has never had to worry about affording childcare, Bruce Rauner clearly doesn’t understand how cuts to these programs ripple throughout generations, stifling opportunity and perpetuating hardship,” Biss said in the release.
Rauner said in his release that the Child Care Assistance Program funding decision was made to support working families who have to worry about child care while taking multiple jobs.
“I am proud to stand with families who are working two or three jobs just to make a living,” he said. “Many of them are already struggling, and now they’re taking an even deeper cut in their income thanks to the 32 percent increase in income taxes the legislature passed in July.”
Still, even with the massive tax hike, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget estimates the state budget is at least $1.7 billion out of balance, with Rauner calling for the legislature to help him identify additional spending reforms to bridge the gap.
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