General Assembly adjourned on May 31st and is now officially
‘finished’ within the regularly scheduled session. The final budget proposal, crafted by the
House, spends $671 million less than FY 12 budget and falls short in many
The Education budget, which funds education programs for children
birth through high school, was passed with an overall cut of $260 million, including a $24.9 million cut to the Early
Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) which funds Preschool for All.
This House-proposed budget will devastate public education as we know
it, and most importantly will result in a total cut to the ECBG since 2009 of
$80 million – resulting in 26,000 fewer children having access to a high
quality preschool experience. In
addition to the ECBG cuts, General State Aid and the Free and Reduced Lunch and
Breakfast Program also received significant cuts.
Senate passed an ‘education add-back’ bill on May 31st that restores
the $24.9 million cut to the ECBG.
Unfortunately, the House did not take action on that bill, so the cuts
stand for now.
took an overall cut of $200 million, with a direct cut to child care of $5.3
million. While this budget has less of a cut to child care than in the
Governor’s proposed budget, this cut will still result in programmatic cuts (we estimate close
to $50 million) including a significant increase in parent co-payments,
decreased income eligibility guidelines, and reductions in quality and other
changes that will limit access to low-income families. The good news in this budget is Home Visiting
services – Healthy Families and Parents
too Soon - and Teen REACH were funded at FY12 levels. No cuts to the
state’s home visiting programs were required to avoid a significant penalty by
the Federal Government.
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) received a $103 million increase from
FY12. This increase is due to an
increased caseload and will help to avoid a repeated need for a supplemental
appropriation late in the fiscal year.
totaling $1.6 billion to the Medicaid
program also passed this year. While the
final cuts were below the originally-proposed $2.7 billion, low-income families
across the state will still feel the devastation. Hundreds of thousands of low-income
Illinoisans will be removed from the program when the new eligibility standards
take effect and those that remain will see reduced coverage for things like
prescriptions and dental care.
budget bills will now be sent to the Governor to be signed.
Senate Bill 3601 passed both chambers as amended, and now awaits
the Governor’s signature to become law.
The final bill creates accountabilities
for the DCFS on their responsibilities around the licensing of child care homes
and centers across the state. The
bill requires a report be presented to the General Assembly in September 2013,
and will require the DCFS to do the work of data collection and performance
monitoring under the framework of the state’s Early Learning Council.
advocacy efforts of the child care community made a huge difference this year –
from the Supplemental Funding for Child Care to pushing back some of the cuts
going forward. And our efforts are not
over. Thank you for all you do for children and families! Stay tuned for more detailed information on
the end of session in the coming days, and direction for your continued
sure to register for our Statewide
Public Policy Caucus to be held in Bloomington on June 14, 2012 from
10-3pm where we will give ample time to dissecting the legislative session and
the impact it will have on families and children going forward.
While the General
Assembly just finished their FY13 budget for the State, legislators in
Washington, D.C. continued their work to create a Federal Fiscal Year 2013
budget, which would go into effect October 1, 2012.
The House of
Representatives passed House Appropriation Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s
(R-WI) FY13 budget in March. Chairman Ryan’s budget cuts $5.3 trillion in
nondefense spending over ten years, 62% of which will come from programs that
serve low-income people. The $3.3 trillion in cuts over ten years will
include a $134 billion (17%) cut to SNAP, a $2.4 trillion cut to Medicaid and
other health care programs and $754 billion in cuts to other programs for
low-income Americans, including Pell Grants and job training programs.
Besides a $200
billion increase to defense spending, the proposed budget will also cut the top
tax rate to 25%, giving those who earn over a $1 million per year a $265,000
tax cut. In contrast, those who earn between $30,000 and $40,000 a year
will receive an average tax cut of $482. Despite these massive
programmatic cuts and tax reductions, Chairman Ryan’s budget will add to the
National Debt and make no changes to projected future budget deficits.
You can read
Chairman Ryan’s full plan by clicking here.
Senate plans to begin its work on a funding bill next week. Let’s hope the Democratic controlled Senate
budget will be more in line with the President’s early childhood funding
proposals – an $825 million increase to the Child Care and Development Block
Grant and an $84 million increase to Head Start/Early Head Start. We will have more information for you when
their budget is released.
Reminder: Register TODAY for our
Statewide Public Policy Caucus
IAFC's Statewide Public Policy Caucus is next week! Come join us and
other early care and education advocates for a valuable, timely and informative
Please join us in Bloomington
on June 14, 2012 from 10 - 3pm where, among other topics, we
will give ample time to dissecting the legislative session and the impact the
FY13 budget will have on families and children going forward.
Click here to download and print caucus flyer.
Statewide Public Policy
Thursday, June 14, 2012
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
registration opens at 9:30 a.m.
2012 Rally Coverage
Several thousand child care providers, and advocates gathered on the steps of the Capitol
in Springfield on May 17th to tell legislators to fully fund the Child
Care Assistance Program before it was too late. They received unexpected good news at the Rally from Maria, who told the
assembled crowd to “look at the person next to you and say
congratulations – congratulations because the supplemental budget to
fund the Child Care Assistance Program through the end of the fiscal
year is a done deal!”
Receiving a supplemental budget for FY 2012 was a major victory – it shows what a group of
people can accomplish when they come together with great determination
to support a common cause. Please visit the Illinois Action for Children Facebook page to see more pictures from the Rally! Click on the links below to see video coverage.
17 NBC’s coverage of the Rally
(VIDEO, fast-forward to the 3:34 mark of this video for the full piece
on the Rally)
Bill Passes House (VIDEO includes
coverage of the Rally: WCIS 20 Springfield)
Move To Spare Subsidized Child Care
(WUIS-FM Radio Springfield)
Leads Way in Teaching English Language Learners
some good news about the state, a recent editorial in the Washington Post
praises Illinois’ for focusing on the needs of English language learners at an
early age. With persistent educational
achievement gaps between English language learners and their peers in K-12
system, Illinois has done well to provide language services in its early
the state has been cutting preschool and bilingual services over the past few
years, Illinois’ forward thinking will still have an effect on thousands of
students. To read the whole article,