It’s been a busy week already in Springfield, but we have a very important update to share.
First, we want to congratulate and thank every one of you who took the time to file a witness slip on HB 3676. We managed to file 839 slips in support of our bill, showing that our organizational strength continues to grow and that we will not rest until our voices are heard loud and clear.
However, there is some disappointing news as of today. Unfortunately, there was a determination made that, for the time being, no bills that were perceived as dramatically changing or lowering standards for childcare workers would be called this week. There were three separate bills in the House that were judged to fall into this category, and ours was one of those three. Therefore, our bill will not be called in committee this week.
Fortunately, all is not lost. State Representative Harry Benton, our lead sponsor, has been absolutely tireless and passionate in his advocacy, rounding up votes and building a strong list of bipartisan cosponsors. And House Chairwoman of the Child Care Accessibility and Early Childhood Committee, Rep. Joyce Mason, has been an enthusiastic co-sponsor and supporter as well. We greatly appreciate their continued support and commitment to our cause.
As our legislative team in Springfield reminds us, there is more than one path through the maze of the State Capitol, and we are already consulting with Representatives Mason and Benton to chart our next steps. What is certain is that the current administration has publicly committed to making childcare a priority this year. Our job is to remind everyone that there are no effective solutions to the challenges facing our childcare system in Illinois that do not grapple with how to solve the staffing crisis that has been facing this industry for many years.
We will continue to keep the pressure on, and keep you updated at every turn. And we have no doubt we will be returning to you soon for your help in elevating our voices as the legislative session progresses.