On Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that he's devised a way to avoid a $73 million budget gap that would've cut funding for child care services to low-income families, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Last week, Quinn's office notified over 40,000 child care providers that the state would be unable to pay for their services for the last three months of the budget year. The announcement fixing that gap comes as welcome news to the parents who rely on the subsidized child care to get to work every day.
Fortunately, Quinn now claims that the state can pay for child care by shifting funds that weren’t otherwise being used. The money will come from funds originally intended to pay for Medicare premiums, according to Quinn’s budget office.
“We’ve located about $73 million in the budget that will not be spent on the original purpose this year, so we're going to reallocate that money for the child care subsidy to make sure that working moms and dads have the subsidy they need in order to go to work and make sure their kids are well taken care of,” Quinn said.
The next step, according to Quinn, is to get state lawmakers to approve the proposal. He's optimistic the proposal will pass. Democratic leaders are currently reviewing the proposal, and House Republican Leader Tom Cross has expressed his intent to solve the child care budget shortfall and is currently examining the proposal.
State lawmakers are now focusing on preventing cuts to next year’s child care budget in order to avoid another child care funding shortfall. Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed several measures, including increasing parent co-pays and limiting eligibility.
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