Text Size
Login
config

Hutchinson advances plan to expand Child Care Assistance Program

Senator HutchinsonSPRINGFIELD – A working family of three who earns up to $41,560 per year would be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) under a proposal by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) that passed the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday afternoon.

“Working families are finding it harder and harder to afford the ever-increasing cost of child care,” Hutchinson said. “For many families, it makes more financial sense for one parent to stay at home rather than work at all. And for single parents, the cost is often overwhelming.”

Hutchinson’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1679, would raise the income threshold for qualifying for CCAP from 185 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, for a family of three, 185 percent of the federal poverty level represents $38,443 per year. Under Hutchinson’s plan, families of three could earn up to $41,560 and still qualify for the program.

CCAP provides financial assistance to low-income families so they can afford to enroll their children into the child care program. While the program was once nationally recognized, Gov. Rauner made drastic cuts to the program in 2015, reducing eligibility for 90 percent of CCAP participants. While the governor’s cuts were later reversed, the high-profile cuts to the program have led to decreased enrollment by working families.

“Every child requires someplace safe to be so their parents can be full and active participants in our economy,” Hutchinson said.

Senate Bill 1679 was heard in the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon and will now move to the Senate floor for further debate.

Stadelman welcomes Miss Illinois County Fair Queen

stadelman 031919SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) was joined in Springfield today by students advocating on behalf of agriculture, including current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Alexi Bladel of Winnebago County.

“It was an absolute honor to introduce the first ever Miss Winnebago County Fair who became Miss Illinois County Fair Queen to the Illinois Senate,” Stadelman said. “It’s wonderful to see someone so young who cares so deeply about her state and hometown.” 

Bertino-Tarrant seeks tougher penalties on financial abuse of elders, disabled

jbt 041118 3SPRINGFIELD – To protect some of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) is seeking higher criminal penalties for felonious scams that target the elderly and disabled.

Bertino-Tarrant advanced Senate Bill 69, which would institute tougher penalties on Class 2 felony offenses against an elderly person or a person with a disability.

“There are scammers actively cheating our seniors every day, partly because they are lucrative while being comparatively less risky than other forms of crime,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “To discourage this growing epidemic, we must put laws in place to protect the financial well-being of Illinois’ seniors and people with disabilities.”

This measure expands the Class 2 felony offense of theft by deception over $5,000 to include offenses committed against a person with a disability.

It also clarifies that consent cannot be used as a defense in a case of financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability if the accused knew or should have known that the victim lacked the ability to consent.

Nearly 5 million older Americans are financially exploited. While scammers are to blame, more than half of cases involve exploitation by a family member. A 2014 study by Mark Lachs, co-chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital found that almost 60 percent of cases involve a perpetrator who is a family member.

Lachs also reported that elder abuse victims—including those who suffer financial exploitation—die at a rate three times faster than those who haven’t been abused.

“This measure would give law enforcement officials further resources to prosecute those attempting to exploit elderly Illinoisans,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “These higher restrictions will help make scammers think twice before attempting to manipulate seniors and people with disabilities.”

Senate Bill 69 passed the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Law with bipartisan support and is scheduled for consideration before the full Senate.

Lightford seeks to lower required school age to 5

Senator LightfordSPRINGFIELD – Children could soon be required to start school at age 5 under a proposal spearheaded by Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

Senate Bill 2075 lowers the compulsory school age from 6 to 5, and was approved by the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

“It is vital for students to be in the classroom, especially at an early age,” Lightford said. “This measure allows us to make a strong impact in the lives of our children and increases opportunities for those who come from underprivileged communities.”

The measure seeks to help address chronic absenteeism across the state by establishing a habit of attendance in kindergarten and first grade. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, at least one in five Chicago Public School students missed at least 17 days of school during the 2017-18 school year. The state’s average is about one in six children.

Chronic absenteeism has a wide range of negative effects for the absent students and for their classmates, as instructors often need to go over materials again, Lightford said.

The legislation now heads to the full Senate for approval.

Photo of the Day

03212019CM0262POTD
Sign up for The Majority Report HERE
Majority Report Podcast
Find Your Legislator
Monthly Minute

Follow ILSenDems

Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

News Releases

IMAGE Cunningham named Legislator of the Year by Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois
Thursday, 21 March 2019
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham was named Legislator of the Year by the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (IFFA) on Wednesday for...

Read More...
IMAGE Bennett measure to add protections to Mahomet Aquifer, ensure water safety
Thursday, 21 March 2019
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced legislation this week to strengthen protections for the Mahomet Aquifer, the...

Read More...
IMAGE Munoz wants more state contracts for veteran-owned businesses
Thursday, 21 March 2019
SPRINGFIELD – More veteran-owned businesses would secure state contracts under a measure sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz...

Read More...
IMAGE Munoz protects consumers from large final payments on payday loans
Thursday, 21 March 2019
SPRINGFIELD – To protect individuals who take out a payday loan, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is leading efforts to ensure that...

Read More...
IMAGE Villivalam votes in favor of new minimum purchasing age for tobacco
Thursday, 21 March 2019
SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Senate voted to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old today, with the measure now awaiting the...

Read More...
Senate Schedule
General Assembly Bills & Resolutions
The Great Pension Debate
Find local warming centers