From State Senator Don DeWitte:
Majority Party Blocks Invest in Kids Extension
Democrats refused to take action during the fall Veto Session to extend the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship program, so thousands of low-income Illinois families will be left scrambling when the program ends on December 31.
For most, that means their children, who benefitted from full tuition scholarships that allowed them to leave struggling public schools, will have to return to the school setting that failed them.
Lifting the sunset deadline for this vital program was the Senate Republicans’ top priority for the fall Veto Session this year.
On November 7, our caucus held a press conference and called on Governor Pritzker and his legislative allies to help save Invest in Kids.
We noted that instead of being focused on Illinois, the Governor was out of state in Florida trying to increase his national profile.
Since the inception of the Invest in Kids program in 2017, more than $308 million in private donations have been made to a tax credit scholarship fund that has provided more than 38,000 scholarships that helped low-income K-12 students in struggling schools optimize their chances for academic success by attending a school of their choice.
Upon adjournment, I issued the following statement about the Democrats’ choice to allow the program to expire:
“Legislation was filed with plenty of time to spare that would have saved this program by lifting the December 31 sunset. This legislation was never even granted the courtesy of a hearing, let alone an up or down vote in the Senate or in the House. It is important that people understand that every Republican in the Senate and House wanted Invest in Kids to become permanent. Many of us would even like the program to be expanded so that more kids have access to these transformational scholarships. It is the Democrats who blocked this bill.”
Despite the setback, I will continue their fight for the return of the program during next year’s spring session.