Daycare Bill Fails in House After Governor Eases Funding Restrictions


Tuesday’s vote for daycare providers was not what anyone expected. Governor Rauner reversed his stance and said he would be willing to compromise on eligibility requirements but, instead of waiting for that compromise, Democrats went ahead and called the original bill for a vote.

The proposal failed by one vote; one Democrat who people say was going to vote for the bill, did not. In fact, he didn’t vote at all. And so, it didn’t pass.

“He not only broke that promise to his constituents, but he broke it to me and people like me,” said Jaquie Algee, an SEIU member.

Algee is frustrated and angry with the state’s lack of a budget. She’s mad at lawmakers for not keeping their word; in particular, Representative Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago).

“We learn that we cannot trust his promise. We cannot trust his word,”said Algee.

Dunkin was the lone vote Democrats needed to pass a proposal which would fully fund childcare. Algee and other lawmakers said he would vote “yes” on the bill.

“Promised to vote in favor and support of this bill,” she said.

The vote comes one day after the governor lifted the new eligibility requirements for CCAP.

“I credit representative Dunkin for not participating in it. He wants to get things done. He saw that they were great strides made by the administration,” said House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge).

However, Democrats say it wasn’t enough.

“I feel that because 70,000 children have been kicked off this program or denied this  program,” said Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria).

Gordon-Booth pushed the bill. She says she appreciates the governor’s efforts but this decision should be one handled by lawmakers.

“That’s what we were doing today. We were simply wanting to create certainty that everyone is brought to the table when changes are made,” said Gordon-Booth.

Gordon-Booth said even though the outcome was a surprise, the fight is not over.

“Not talking bad about the compromise, but we need some assurance, we needed some certainty to provide to our childcare centers and our families,” she said.

In a statement Rauner said, as a result of lawmaker’s efforts, the state is now able to move forward with his compromises on providing childcare for working families in a more financially-responsible way.

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