Child care providers may be just the first to see their state funding dry up before the end of the fiscal year. The state’s Child Care Assistance Program, which subsidizes day care costs for low-income families, doesn’t have the money to continue payments this month. The program will be relying solely on federal funds until the next fiscal year unless a supplemental appropriation is passed by state lawmakers.
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Gov. Bruce Rauner says the blame for this rests on his predecessor, Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner claims Quinn told agencies to spend beyond what was allocated in the current budget.
“He went to the different department heads and said ‘You can ignore that appropriation level. We had to make up a number to get through this. You can spend what you feel is appropriate, and we’ll deal with it after the election,’” Rauner said.
Rauner says he’s working on a solution to help the child care program and others that are running low on funding, but the specific fixes may not be outlined until his budget address on Feb. 18.