Gov Pat Quinn, "My black girlfriend Monica Walker always tells me how hard it is for black women to get child care.... We need to do this!"
SPRINGFIELD — Cuts to child care services for low-income families will be averted under legislation Gov. Pat Quinn signed only hours after the Senate approved it Friday.
But even as Quinn and lawmakers fill a hole in the budget year that's nearly done, they remain under pressure to make major cuts in health care for the poor and possibly raise the cigarette tax to balance a spending plan they need to pass soon.
Quinn had threatened cuts when the state ran low on money to support the more than 40,000 Illinois child care locations through June 30, the end of the current budget year. Later, the governor he said he would shift $73 million from untapped health care funds if legislators went along.
On Friday, the Senate voted 46-0 for the bill the House already had passed. The measure also authorized more money to pay down approximately $300 million in overdue bills once federal matching funds come in the door, said Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, the House sponsor.
The move came as Quinn and lawmakers are trying to come together on a solution to help close what the governor pegs as a $2.7 billion shortfall in health care for the poor in the new budget.
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PHOTO: Gov Pat Quinn and his black girlfriend Monica Walker