One of Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget-saving plans, changing the qualifications to sharply reduce the number of families eligible for a state-subsidized child care program, has gotten plenty of attention in 2015.
CCAP, the Child Care Assistance Program, is credited with helping parents attend class and work without having to worry about their children. House lawmakers fell one vote short of passing a bill to undo the governor's plan, and it got hot on the floor this week.
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“You should have to have verifiable need,” State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said, “and that means you'd better know who the daddy is, and iwhether or not he can afford that child.” As Democratic lawmakers jeered, Ives retorted, “Oh, you guys think it's a big joke. It's very funny that we are going to provide child care when you are not holding the individuals responsible for that child.”
State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford) says Ives is making insinuations Wallace resents. “Was I just some lucid (sic) woman who didn't know who the daddy was and had no education and had no nothing?” she said. “No – I was a woman with a master's degree, a broken engagement due to domestic violence, who picked up the pieces of her life” six years ago. “Part of doing that was receiving child care subsidies.”
SB 570, which needed 71 votes to pass, failed in the House, 70-8-31. The sponsor reserves the right to call it again.