Early Childhood Advocates Call on the Illinois House of Representatives to Override Governor’s Veto

By Elliot Regenstein, Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Policy, Ounce of Prevention Fund and Maria Whelan, President & CEO, Illinois Action for Children

Over the long holiday weekend, the Illinois General Assembly worked in a bipartisan manner to end the unprecedented budget impasse, passing a full-year budget for FY2018 and the revenue increases needed to fund that budget. The governor vetoed the bills and the Senate has voted to override that veto. We strongly urge the House of Representatives to now follow the Senate in voting to override the governor’s veto.

The approved budget — the first full-year, fully-funded budget since FY2014 –provides significant funding to early childhood programs including Preschool for All and Prevention Initiative, home visiting programs, the Child Care Assistance Program and Early Intervention.

We applaud the members of the General Assembly in both parties who took the tough vote to try to end this impasse. We hope the House can take one more important vote to move Illinois forward.

While it will take some time for early childhood programs to rebound from the impasse, with this override, we are relieved that early childhood programs will be able to shift their focus to rebuilding their programs, providing vital services for children and families, and planning for the future of those children and families they serve.