As we enter the New Year, there is still no resolution to the state budget. Even with the stopgap budget, the budget impasse continues to harm Illinois’ youngest learners and their families. Countless children have lost access to services as organizations lack financial stability. Short-term budgets have failed to undo the damage caused during the budget impasse.
Illinois’ youngest learners can’t wait any longer–tell your lawmakers and the governor to act now and enact a full-year, fully funded, responsible budget–contact your lawmakers!
These inadequate budgets have also negatively impacted the following programs and services:
- Home Visiting programs–Illinois Department of Human Services-funded home visiting programs continue to be severely impacted by the budget impasse. Even with stopgap funding, the ongoing fiscal uncertainty has meant that some agencies have not fully restored previous reductions in services and staff. Nearly $50 million in federal home visiting funding continues to be threatened due to maintenance-of-effort requirements, meaning Illinois must sustain its contribution of state dollars.
- Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)–While CCAP is being paid through court order and federal funds, eligibility for the program has not been fully restored since the 2015 emergency rules.
- Early Intervention (EI)–EI is also being paid through court order and federal funds. However, EI serves less than 4% of infants and toddlers in Illinois, which is well below the expected disability prevalence rate of 13%. Payment delays to providers also continue to harm the availability of therapies for children.
- Early Childhood Block Grant–We appreciate the record increase in funding for FY2017 that restored previous cuts; however, there are many at-risk children who cannot yet access services. In addition to the missed opportunities for children, payment delays are likely to cause challenges for providers.
Learn more about how the budget crisis is affecting Illinois with The Responsible Budget Coalition’s statement calling for state leaders to take action to end the budget crisis by passing a fully funded, full-year, responsible budget to stop cuts, provide adequate revenue, repair previous damage and make smart investment.