Illinoisans are set to speak out at the state's Capitol on Tuesday against the Rauner administration's child care cuts and the state budget stalemate's impact on the immigrant community.
In Springfield, child care providers and parents will kick off a three-week campaign Tuesday in support of state legislation, SB 570, that would undo the Rauner administration's changes to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The child care advocates hope to see the legislation go up for a vote on November 10.
The campaign comes as nearly 5,000 Illinois children have been denied access to CCAP because of strict eligibility requirements implemented by the administration in July, when the state entered the new fiscal year without a budget.
Also on Tuesday, a dozen Illinois immigrant leaders plan to speak with legislators about the effects of the nearly four-month-old state budget standoff on immigrant service providers. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is spearheading the trip to Springfield.
ICIRR has 60 partner organizations that depend on the state's Immigrant Services Line Item, which is caught up in the budget battle. Of those 60 organizations, two have shut down and over half have had to reduce immigrant services. The organizations have thus far laid off 150 employees because of the state budget situation.
"Nearly 35,000 immigrants who were previously served by ICIRR partner organizations have lost access to the vital services they once depended on," ICIRR added in a statement. "In the coming year, that number is expected to rise to 102,000."
One service provider that has shut down amid the budget impasse is the Chicago-based Latino Organization of the Southwest.
"We have served a robust group of immigrants for over twenty years, and without state funding, we are forced to turn away immigrants who depend on our vital services," said Hector Rico, Latino Organization of the Southwest's executive director. "We cannot wait months for a state budget that should have been decided by July 1. Immigrants need services now."