IAFC Statement on Illinois General Assembly Passing State Budget
Illinois Action for Children applauds the Illinois General Assembly’s efforts in crafting and passing a balanced, full-year FY 2021 budget that maintains the state’s investment in young children and their families.
During a global pandemic that has dramatically altered Illinois’ economic landscape, the General Assembly successfully passed a budget that begins to uplift our state’s most vulnerable residents.
This budget invests in the future of Illinois. By maintaining, and in some instances, increasing, funding for critically-important early care and education programs and services, our elected officials have stated loudly and clearly that young children’s futures are among our top priorities.
Additionally, the General Assembly has appropriated more than $500 million to a new Coronavirus Budget Interruption Grant (BIG) program, funded with federal CARES Act dollars. $260 million of this funding willing be used to address closure and losses in child care and early childhood programs due to COVID-19. This is vital to ensuring that these programs can open to serve families as more Illinoisans return to work.
This is a starting point. Illinois still desperately needs new revenue to grow investments in early childhood and other essential programs and services that will be needed more than ever in the wake of the economic devastation that is the result of COVID-19—particularly in communities that are the most isolated from resources and opportunity.
The Fair Tax, which is on the ballot this November, would allow Illinois to reinvest in our children from early education and school funding through higher ed without putting the burden on working families. Under this new system, 97 percent of taxpayers get a tax cut or pay no more than they do now — while raising more than $3 billion per year to help to fund the state’s most urgent priorities and pay its bills.
Illinois Action for Children looks forward to working with Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly in the months and years ahead to ensure that that children and families are at the center of every important decision made in Springfield and beyond.