Hutch080316SPRINGFIELD – Since Illinois’ budget impasse began more than eight months ago, more than 1,500 youth across the state have been kicked out of after-school programs that previously received funding from the Teen REACH program. Teen REACH provides grants to support local communities’ after-school programs that serve at-risk youth age 6 to 17.

“Investing in after-school programs keeps children off the streets during peak times for juvenile crime,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “We’re increasing opportunities for success while decreasing the crime rate.”

Hutchinson led a plan that was signed into law Friday that ensures the state makes quality after-school programs a priority, requiring the Department of Human Services to award grants to community-based agencies providing after-school services to youth. Teen REACH funding has been cut off since Illinois’ budget impasse began in July and was not included in the governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017.  

“Teen REACH is proven to work for thousands of children throughout the state and should be consistently funded given its achievements,” Hutchinson said.

Senate Bill 2407 goes into effect January 1, 2017.

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