State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement after voting in support of a proposal that will distribute state funds to a variety of programs and services that keep Illinoisans safe and protect seniors and working families:

Hutchinson supports local funding for road salt, human service programs“Yesterday's vote is a win for Illinois. It is a win for our communities that are preparing plans to keep our roads safe during winter weather. It is a win for domestic violence shelters that are struggling each and every day just to keep the doors open for victims in desperate need of care.  And it is a win for seniors who need a little extra help paying their heating costs over the next several months. This win is only possible because everyone came to the table and worked together.

“While this week's vote is a step forward, we cannot lose sight of how much there is still to be accomplished. There are countless non-profit agencies struggling to care for the homeless, victims of rape and individuals suffering from mental illness. They are on the front lines of this budget impasse, and we cannot forget them. We must continue working together like we did today, putting aside our political differences and ideologies, and do what is best for everyone in this state.”

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Local dollars being held in SpringfieldSPRINGFIELD - Every year, Kankakee-area motorists pay thousands of dollars in state gas taxes that help pay for road salt, snowplow repair, patching potholes and other road projects and maintenance. Since July 1, however, Springfield has not distributed this money back to local governments.

“It’s ridiculous,” said state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, a Chicago Heights Democrat who also represents a majority of Kankakee County in the Illinois Senate. “State government’s role is simply to collect the money and send it back.”

The problem, Hutchinson explained, is that the money can’t be sent to communities without some kind of official authorization. In May, Hutchinson supported a proposal that contained that authorization. While the plan passed the Senate, Governor Rauner unfortunately vetoed it, leaving municipalities without vital funding as the winter season quickly approaches. The system has been at a standstill ever since.

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Senator Hutchinson released the following statement to the countless parents, providers and advocates who have been fighting to restore cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP):

"I'd like to thank all of the parents, providers and advocates who have stood beside me and Representative Gordon Booth as we sought to ensure that their voices were heard over the last months regarding SB570.  I have remained focused on providers and children every step of the way.  My conversations with the Governor's administration regarding the desperate need to give relief to daycare centers on the verge of closing any day now resulted in an agreement to hold SB570 in the Senate if it passed the House in exchange for raising the eligibility rate so that more children would have access to childcare immediately.  I know that some are disappointed in the failure of SB570, but I am grateful that the Governor did what he promised me he would and allowed 31,000 additional children per month to access childcare.  This is what we have been fighting for.  We aren't 100 % there yet, but I don't want anyone to be discouraged.  Your calls, your presence, your dedication, your advocacy worked. Never give up on the power of using your voice to affect change and always remember that you have a right to call on your government to listen.  The road so far has been hard but we are going to get through this if stay the course. As always, our children, as well as all of those we hold dear deserve the very best we have to give. I promise I won't stop fighting."

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Hutchinson's Call to Action for Child Care ReformKANKAKEE – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement before her tour of the YWCA Kankakee Child Care Center to bring attention to the lack of child care funding:

“Every month that goes by without a budget hurts working families and children in ways that are immeasurable. Investing in child care is the responsible thing to do no matter which way you look at it, no matter which political party you belong to. I have been fighting for months to get more children into classrooms as soon as possible and give providers the stability they desperately need to make it through this crisis. If Senate Bill 570 comes back to the Senate for a vote, I have agreed to hold it only as long as a temporary rule is actually passed in the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on Nov. 17,  giving thousands of providers and kids immediate relief.  It’s past time for us to work together in every way we can every time we can. Our children deserve nothing less.”

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