Help may be coming for parents needing child care

The child care assistance program is awaiting the Governor's signature. (Carl Wycoff/Flickr)
The child care assistance program is awaiting the Governor’s signature. (Carl Wycoff/Flickr)


SPRINGFIELD – Supporters of a bill expanding child care financial assistance say it would help get parents back in the workforce. Others say it disincentivizes prosperity.

The bill awaiting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature would raise the Child Care Assistance Program eligibility threshold for a family of four to almost $60,000 per year. State Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, said it would help single mothers and lower-income families to support themselves.

But Stan Veuger, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute, said the aid acts as disincentive to prosper.

“Suddenly, people won’t have an incentive to move to a slightly better job,” Veuger said. “If you earn an additional $500 a year, you suddenly lose a benefit that’s worth much more than that to you.”

Veuger said the broad expansion of the program will drive up costs for everyone else.

“If there’s a limited number of places that offer child care because it’s a very heavily licensed industry, it can push up prices for everyone else.”

The child care program is funded by court order, so assistance payments would come out of the state’s coffers before most other payments. The expansion is estimated to cost $700 million over two years.


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…