Senator Holmes on the floor of the Illinois SenateCalling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to act quickly to avoid the loss of crucial federal matching funds intended to provide health insurance to children, State Sen. Linda Holmes urged him to sign an extension to the Covering All Kids Health Insurance Act after it passed the Senate 44-12 today.

“There’s a reason that All Kids has met with bipartisan support: It’s an important program that’s good for children and families,” Holmes said. “It’s also a program for which the federal government provides matching funding, and that means we risk losing twice the funding for the children who need health care the most if Governor Rauner does not act. I urge him to sign this authorization.”

The program covers an estimated 41,000 children from working poor families, regardless of their immigration status, and is one reason Illinois has the second highest rate of health coverage for Latino children in the nation at 95.5 percent. It constitutes roughly one half of one percent of the state’s health insurance spending while bringing in $40 million in federal matching funds.

The Covering All Kids Health Insurance Act will end July 1 unless Governor Rauner signs House Bill 5736, which would extend the sunset date to October 1, 2019.

Category: New Releases

AURORA — State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement after Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed funding for Monetary Award Program grants for college students this afternoon.

“Denying students this aid is undermining their hard work and putting universities in an impossible position,” Holmes said. “Our students and our state can’t afford to wait for these funds any longer.”

Category: New Releases

Senator Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, issued the following statement after Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address Wednesday:

“In one plan, Governor Rauner continues to ask that we enact his highly partisan agenda before anything else can get done,” Holmes said. “In the other, he asks for authority to make cuts that he already possesses through selectively vetoing appropriations. The reason he’s presenting his second budget today while his first one remains unpassed is because he declined to use that very authority before.”

On education, Holmes said seeking full funding for K-12 is an admirable goal, but stressed that the plan puts forth no revenue for the increase and comes at a time when the state’s social services are straining under the budget impasse.

“Funding K-12 is important, but it’s strange that we see this proposal without revenue to back it up, even as charities and critical human services programs face an uncertain future,” Holmes said. “We need to keep our funding priorities straight.”

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Category: New Releases

Holmes speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, issued the following statement after voting in favor of Senate Bill 2043, which, among other things, funds grants for college students that went unfunded over the past year.

“This should have been done a long time ago,” Holmes said. “Failing to deliver on these grants has been harmful to students who are working toward a better education.”

“I urge Governor Rauner to do the right thing by businesses and the next generation of workers who will make them strong: Sign this funding into law.”

Senate Bill 2043 appropriates $397 million for MAP grants and $324 to the Illinois Community College Board for funds that include operations and adult education and literacy programs.

Having passed both chambers of the General Assembly, it awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

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Category: New Releases

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