Senator Jacqueline Collins

August 10, 2015

Dear Friends,

 

The Senate has made progress in two critical areas affecting Chicago families.

 

Since July 1, two thousand applicants to the Child Care Assistance Program have been turned away. These are parents who cannot go to work or attend school without safe, affordable child care. Through a secretive rulemaking process, Governor Rauner has taken away child care subsidies for 90 percent of new applicants who would have been eligible prior to July 1. Because of the new standards he unilaterally implemented - after vetoing the budget we passed, which would have fully funded child care - even parents earning minimum wage are being turned away, when child care costs on average more than $12,000 per year for an infant in Illinois.

 

My colleagues and I stood up to the governor last week, exposing his plan to make an end runbudget speech around the General Assembly to gut child care assistance eligibility without input from members of the public and their elected representatives. Sen. Toi Hutchinson sponsored this legislation, which I co-sponsored, to put into state law the previous, more expansive eligibility standards, so that thousands more families can access assistance. The Senate passed this measure, and now the House must decide whether to advance it to the governor.

 

The Senate also passed, with my support, legislation that will allow the Chicago Public Schools to avoid laying off hundreds of teachers and cutting classroom resources this school year. It will require the state to treat the Chicago Public Schools like every other school district in Illinois by covering the annual cost of CPS teacher pensions. The measure also provides property tax relief by freezing property taxes at current levels for the next two years, and it sets a 2017 deadline for an overhaul of the state's school funding formula. I remain optimistic that during this time, we can achieve a solution that will promote educational justice for children living in poverty.

 

This plan is also now in the House, which will return to the Capitol this week. I encourage my colleagues in the House to carefully consider both of these proposals and act quickly to reverse the administration's devastating action against families who rely on child care assistance and to save teaching jobs and classroom resources in CPS. I will continue to update you on this and other legislation affecting our youth, community and working families. Please stay in touch by calling my office at (773) 224-2830, replying to this email or contacting me through my website.

 

Sincerely,
Jacqueline Collins
Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins
16th District – Illinois

 

 

District Office

1155 West 79th Street • Chicago, IL 60620

773-224-2830 (Phone) • 773-224-2855 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

M114 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-1607 (Phone)

 

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Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607

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