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Biss: Rauner has only himself to blame for Illinois’ crumbling human services

BissSEIU2CHICAGO – The consequences of kicking 55,000 children and their families out of a state child care assistance program rest squarely on the shoulders of Gov. Bruce Rauner, Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said Wednesday.

“When it comes to decisions involving cuts to child care assistance, cuts to programs for our most vulnerable residents and abysmally low pay for home care workers, these are choices for which Bruce Rauner, and Bruce Rauner alone, is responsible,” Biss said.

“He is the appropriate person – in fact the only person – to call upon to stop the assault on the caregiving safety net in Illinois.”

Biss joined representatives of the Service Employees International Union in Chicago on Wednesday to implore Rauner to cease his attack on working families and to stop using vulnerable Illinoisans as leverage for his economic agenda.

Biss, chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee, suggested Rauner sign Senate Bill 730, which passed both houses of the Legislature, to expand parents’ access to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program.

Today, 55,000 fewer children are able to take advantage of CCAP than were able to a year ago when Rauner slashed funding for the program.

The program provides financial assistance for child care so that low-income parents can work or go to school and know that their children are safe. Without help paying for child care, which can be expensive, the alternative for many of these parents is to abandon low-wage jobs to seek other types of government assistance and indefinitely delay plans to create a better life for themselves and for their children.

Mothers who work or go to school in particular are adversely affected by Rauner’s CCAP cuts.

“Senate Bill 730 is a pro-child bill, a pro-family bill and a pro-jobs bill that will put people back to work. We need the governor to sign it,” Biss said, urging the governor also to come to the table with a balanced budget proposal.

“Whatever benefit Gov. Rauner believes will come from cuts to these types of programs will not be worth the devastating consequences to the vulnerable people of Illinois, and it will not be consistent with the values of our state. There are better ways to solve our problems.”

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