Democrats unable to stop cuts to child care assistance

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

CHICAGO _ Democrats have failed to stop Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration from cutting a program that helps low-income parents pay for child care.

The Department of Human Services used an emergency rule last month to impose new eligibility requirements. They estimate 90 percent of families who previously qualified for help will no longer receive it.

Rauner says the cuts are necessary to manage Illinois’ finances during the budget stalemate.

Democrats on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules tried Tuesday to block the change. They say Rauner overreached by making changes without holding hearings or allowing public comment and that thousands of families will suffer. However, they failed to get the supermajority needed as Republicans on the committee voted no.

Democrats now say they’ll try legislation to repeal the eligibility changes.