Governor Eases Restrictions on Child Care Assistance Subsidies

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On the eve of a vote on Senate Bill 570, which would reverse caps on the Child Care Assistance Program, the Governor’s office announced Monday a compromise with Democrats to raise the eligibility caps for the program.

In a statement, the Governor’s office said, “As a result of bipartisan discussions with legislators concerning the future of the Child Care Assistance Program, the Rauner administration today plans to amend the emergency rule it filed at the beginning of the fiscal year.  Under the amended rule, income eligibility will rise to 162% of the federal poverty level while current co-pays will remain intact. Other eligibility and restrictions will also be lifted pending further review and legislative consultation. Additionally, the governor’s office will establish a bipartisan, bicameral task force aimed at ensuring the long-term stability of the program.

“This bipartisan agreement will allow us to avoid the unintended consequences and costs that SB 570 would have brought.  By working together, we will be able to bring financial stability to an important program valued by members of both parties.”

The Governor instituted emergency cuts over the summer during the budget crisis.  Critics say the Governor’s own estimates stated that in the first three months, the number of children served by the program dropped from 160,000 to 90,000.

A vote on reversing the cuts was scheduled when legislators convene on Tuesday.

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