BissSEIU2CHICAGO – The consequences of kicking 55,000 children and their families out of a state child care assistance program rest squarely on the shoulders of Gov. Bruce Rauner, Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said Wednesday.

“When it comes to decisions involving cuts to child care assistance, cuts to programs for our most vulnerable residents and abysmally low pay for home care workers, these are choices for which Bruce Rauner, and Bruce Rauner alone, is responsible,” Biss said.

“He is the appropriate person – in fact the only person – to call upon to stop the assault on the caregiving safety net in Illinois.”

Biss joined representatives of the Service Employees International Union in Chicago on Wednesday to implore Rauner to cease his attack on working families and to stop using vulnerable Illinoisans as leverage for his economic agenda.

Biss, chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee, suggested Rauner sign Senate Bill 730, which passed both houses of the Legislature, to expand parents’ access to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program.

Today, 55,000 fewer children are able to take advantage of CCAP than were able to a year ago when Rauner slashed funding for the program.

The program provides financial assistance for child care so that low-income parents can work or go to school and know that their children are safe. Without help paying for child care, which can be expensive, the alternative for many of these parents is to abandon low-wage jobs to seek other types of government assistance and indefinitely delay plans to create a better life for themselves and for their children.

Mothers who work or go to school in particular are adversely affected by Rauner’s CCAP cuts.

“Senate Bill 730 is a pro-child bill, a pro-family bill and a pro-jobs bill that will put people back to work. We need the governor to sign it,” Biss said, urging the governor also to come to the table with a balanced budget proposal.

“Whatever benefit Gov. Rauner believes will come from cuts to these types of programs will not be worth the devastating consequences to the vulnerable people of Illinois, and it will not be consistent with the values of our state. There are better ways to solve our problems.”

Category: News

Please join me for two upcoming town hall meetings for an update about the status of the state budget and a recap of the deeply disappointing spring legislative session in Springfield.

The meetings will take place at the following times and locations:

  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 in the Parasol Room of the Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., Evanston
  • 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 17 in the Lakeview Room of The Park Center, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview

Appearing with me will be two of my General Assembly colleagues: state representatives Laura Fine of Glenview and Robyn Gabel of Evanston.

I invite you to attend one or both of the meetings to ask questions and express your concerns about issues facing Illinois and communities throughout the state. For more information about these events, please contact Representative Fine’s office at 847-998-1719 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: News

BissSenateDear friends,

As you likely know by now, the spring legislative session in Springfield ended on more of a whimper than a bang just before midnight Tuesday.

The House and Senate failed to agree on a spending plan to send to the governor. The Senate passed an education-only bill, and the House passed a more comprehensive plan.

Both were seriously flawed: the Senate's because it only would fund elementary and secondary education – notwithstanding the decimation that higher education and human services have undergone after we enacted only a K-12 budget last year – and the House's because it was dramatically out of balance.

I voted against the Senate plan because I am strongly opposed to repeating the harmful mistakes of last year, and I voted for the House plan in spite of its significant shortcomings because I thought it better to put something on the governor's desk than simply to go back to square one.

In any case, both failed and square one is where we are.

The inability of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to reach a budget agreement by the May 31 deadline is a shameful and embarrassing outcome to an already harmful situation. Real damage is being done, and real people are being harmed by the intransigence. Recent news has made clear that this is having significant economic impact: Illinois now has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

I have an op-ed in the Springfield State Journal-Register this week that addresses this problem and suggests ways in which I think Democrats could act to move us past the impasse. I certainly remain committed to doing everything I can to move us toward a sustainable budget that is honest and fair – and to doing it without harming the most vulnerable or the middle class.

As unacceptable as the situation is, I remain hopeful that there are constructive paths out of it. I will be working hard to move us down those paths, and I expect we'll be in Springfield regularly until we achieve a better outcome. I'll keep you posted throughout.

In the meantime, we were able to make some progress on legislative items, and I am pleased to share some positive news with you below.

As always, please feel free to stay in touch by emailing me or calling my office at 847-568-1250.

Read more: An update from Springfield | June 2, 2016

Category: News

BissAprilThe following column by Sen. Daniel Biss was published in The State Journal-Register newspaper in Springfield on June 2.

 

On May 20, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing that Illinois has the highest unemployment rate in the country. On May 31, the Illinois General Assembly ended its regular 2016 session without passing a budget.

These two seemingly unconnected events actually are related. When the state has no budget, social service providers lay off thousands of people. Universities enact hiring freezes. Those who have the freedom to choose where to live flee the chaos, and businesses don't want to move here under a cloud of uncertainty.

We must bring this standoff to an end immediately.

But how could it be happening in the first place? Amazingly, for all the work done by advocates and rank and file legislators, the situation hasn't changed much since early 2015.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is not willing to make a budget deal that doesn't include parts of his so-called "turnaround agenda," and Democratic legislators are unwilling to make a budget deal that does include turnaround agenda items.

I could explain why I think Gov. Rauner should change his mind, but you probably don't care at this point — and I don't blame you. What we really need is a different way forward.

Read more: Democrats must articulate reform plan for Illinois

Category: News

Contact Me

District office:
3706 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 568-1250
(847) 568-1256 FAX

Springfield office:
417B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

Email:
biss@senatedem.illinois.gov

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