Decatur – With the State’s Child Care Assistance Program running out of funds to pay child care costs, State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is introducing an accountability and oversight reform package to protect the future of the program.

Mitchell introduced his reform proposals at Kids-N-Fitness daycare in Decatur Tuesday.

“I’m pleased to be here at Kids-N-Fitness to announce my Child Care Assistance Program accountability and oversight reform proposals,” Mitchell said. “My legislation urges the Illinois Auditor General to audit this program and will help ensure that working people receive the child care assistance they need to support their families.”

The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides payments to child care providers for services provided to low income, working families. The FY15 State budget passed by legislative Democrats and signed by former Gov. Pat Quinn deliberately underfunded CCAP costs by approximately $300 million. CCAP is currently out of funds to pay child care providers for the remainder of FY15.

“I believe Governor Rauner will announce a plan to restore child care funding during his budget address tomorrow,” Mitchell said. “While I still need to see the specifics, I intend to support the Governor’s effort to protect CCAP. My message today isn’t just about more money but a better way to spend the limited taxpayer resources we have.”

Representative Mitchell’s CCAP reform package includes legislation to require regular audits of the program, establish asset value tests for participating families, require proof of legal residency in Illinois, and include the father’s identification when applying for the program.

“Recently, I was made aware that some of our local daycare centers have children listed as being part of the program who have never shown up at these daycare centers,” Mitchell said. “Nobody knows who or where these children are. By requiring regular audits of the State’s child care program, we will be able to cut down on fraud and misuse of our tax dollars and ensure that funds are going to those truly in need.”

Springfield... Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his first State of the State Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday.

State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) applauded the Governor’s focus on job creation, property tax relief and improving education.

“Governor Rauner made it clear that he wants to partner with legislators on an agenda to reform Springfield and get Illinois working again,” Mitchell said. “I appreciated his focus on issues that I have supported for many years, such as increasing education funding, merging the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer, and hiring more prison guards to reduce overtime costs. I will strongly support helping working families here in Illinois.”

Representative Mitchell added that the State’s budget crisis will be dealt with in the Governor’s upcoming budget address and ongoing budget negotiations this spring.

“Certainly, my focus is on dealing with our fiscal crisis,” Mitchell said. “We have a $6 billion hole in the budget that will require some very difficult decisions to be made. Welfare spending is eating up our budget and I believe we have to pass strong welfare reforms to get that under control. And we have to cut wasteful spending. Get rid of the state planes, merge the Comptroller and Treasurer, and fund our shared priorities first. That’s how we’ll fix this mess.”

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Decatur – State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) will be focusing on education and energy policies in the new 99th General Assembly, as Illinois House committee appointments were announced over the weekend.

Representative Mitchell, an Assistant Republican Leader in the House, landed several key committee posts, including Republican Spokesperson of the new Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee.

“As the ranking Republican on this important committee, I look forward to continuing my advocacy for quality education, great teachers and excellent schools for Illinois families,” Mitchell said.

With the future of the Clinton Power Station in question, Rep. Mitchell was pleased to be named to several critically-important committees, including Public Utilities, Energy and Environment.

“The Clinton power plant is a major economic engine for Central Illinois,” Mitchell said. “Families throughout the area depend on it for good-paying jobs and our schools and other units of local government receive significant tax revenues from the plant. I will be working with Exelon, along with federal and state officials, to ensure the continued safe operation of the Clinton nuclear plant.”

Illinois’ 11 nuclear units and 6 stations produce 48 percent of the state’s electricity. According to Exelon, the Clinton Power Station produces enough electricity to power 1 million homes. The plant is the largest employer in DeWitt County, providing nearly 700 jobs at an annual payroll of $54 million and generating $13 million in tax payments.

Representative Mitchell was also appointed to serve on the House Special Committee on Health & Healthcare Disparities. Mitchell represents the 101st House District, which includes all or portions of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.

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