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pexels pixabay 159579SPRINGFIELD – Last week, both the Senate and the House approved an effort led by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) to allow an early learning and youth development center to purchase the state-owned property it has occupied for decades from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

“I am happy both chambers have moved The Carole Robertson Center one step closer to reaching independence. The Center has been in need of renovations that the state is simply unable to perform,” Van Pelt said. “Selling off state property is not a move anybody involved makes lightly, but in this case, it is necessary. Under the Center’s ownership, it will become possible for thousands of disadvantaged children on Chicago’s West Side to benefit from renovations to the site.”

Because the Carole Robertson Center for Learning sits on land that is not technically surplus state property, the transaction requires specific legislation. The plan has received support from Governor JB Pritzker and DCFS.

The Center, an early childhood education non-profit, was established in 1976 and today serves more than 1,000 children and families annually. If the measure – Senate Bill 2527 – is signed by the governor, the sale would occur immediately and would remain valid as long as the Center uses the property for a public child care facility. Otherwise, it may be reclaimed by the state.

The measure passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s signature.