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Gov. Pritzker Celebrates Record Investment in Youth Development Programs

Press Release - Wednesday, April 13, 2022

CHICAGO - Celebrating the passage of a FY23 budget that prioritizes responsible spending, Gov. JB Pritzker joined students, lawmakers, and advocates at Gately Park Indoor Track in Chicago to highlight programs designed to foster the success of young people throughout the state.

"Last week we passed a budget that will have an enormously positive impact on the wellbeing of young people in this state," said Governor JB Pritzker. "It focuses on giving them every opportunity to succeed, investing in their future like never before. Our children deserve a stronger, healthier Illinois to grow up in, and by continuing to make responsible financial decisions we are delivering on that promise."

"Every child and teen, regardless of their skin color or background, has the potential to do great things," said House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch, (D-Chicago). "It is our duty and responsibility to ensure our youth have the necessary tools for success because we know that when they prosper, Illinois does too."

"The budget we approved recognizes that a brighter future begins today by investing in the children and young families all across this great state," said Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).

"Education is how we nurture our young people towards lives of opportunity and success. We've invested millions of dollars in educational resources for our students, from early childhood through higher education," said Rep. Marcus Evans, (D-Chicago). "Our state's young people deserve a high quality education regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic circumstances, and this year's budget ensures these students have access to this vital service."

"Building upon the responsible spending decisions we've made and balanced budgets we've passed in recent years, we were able to bring forth a budget invests in children and their futures," said Senator Elgie Sims, (D-Chicago). "This budget invests additional dollars into our student's success and prioritizes support for families who may have trouble sending their children off to college. In order to leveling the playing, opportunities must be provided for individuals to succeed. This budget does that, and is a win for everyone."

"These last few years, our youth have sacrificed so much adapting to a changing world. I am proud to have fought for a budget that invests in our young people so that they can reach their full potential," said Rep. Nick Smith, (D-Chicago). "By funding community-based youth services like YouthBuild Illinois, Teen REACH, and others, we are ensuring that kids across the state have the resources they need to build a successful future."

"Today, I'm delighted to be here to celebrate our youth," said Ald. Michelle Harris. "It is rare we get to celebrate our young people. I'm proud of Governor Pritzker and his youth agenda."

Under the state's FY23 budget, new investments in youth programs will provide young people with opportunities to learn, work, and grow in a safe environment. These efforts include:

  • Additional Early Childhood Education funding of $54.4M to cover services for an additional estimated 7,131 children
  • Funding for $300M Strengthen and Grow Childcare grants while continuing investments in rate increases for childcare providers July 1, 2022, and December 1, 2022
  • An extra $460M for K-12 schools and programs to provide quality classrooms, qualified and well-compensated educators, and the textbooks and supplies necessary for a good education
  • $122M increase in need-based Monetary Assistance Program scholarships for college students to a total of $600M to help over 155,000 students receive awards while also increasing the maximum grant award 
  • Increase of $12M for the Regional Offices of Education to address truancy and chronic absenteeism issues coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • $7M funding increase to support targeted summer youth services in the areas of Teen REACH, Community Youth Services and Youth Employment.
  • Additional $16M for Homeless Prevention and Homeless Youth services, in addition to continued authority to maintain rental assistance programming into FY23
  • Additional $8M investment in Redeploy Illinois to reduce juvenile incarcerations and prevent crime
  • Increase of $87 million to bolster the DCFS provider network
  • Increase of $15.5 million to hire an additional 360 DCFS staff
  • New funding of $25 million to rebuild residential capacity for vulnerable youth in care.
  • Includes $56M for new Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grants at IDNR to provide for parks for children to explore, the largest and most accessible round in the state's history for distressed communities.
  • Includes funding to fully implement the Pathways to Success Program for children with serious mental illnesses approximately $150M.  Pathways to Success is a program for Medicaid enrolled children under the age of 21 in Illinois who have complex behavioral health needs and require intensive services and support
  • Expands the Earned Income Credit for working families from 18% of the federal credit to 20%, while expanding the number of households covered
  • Provides families with a "Back to School" sales tax holiday on clothing and school supplies for a week this August

These programs serve as major components of a state budget that prioritizes building a financially strong and responsible state that can be passed down to the next generation of leaders.

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