Peoria: Late checks make bills unbearable : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Since October, when the state of Illinois switched to a centralized check disbursement system, thousands of parents have been getting nothing or just sporadic child-support payments. While things continue to improve, state officials estimate about 3,000 families have checks clogged in the system.

Late checks make bills unbearable


W e didn't mean to pick on someone four days into the job.

We thought we were just asking a pretty obvious question, but it took newly appointed Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Linda Renee Baker by surprise.

She was in town last week to tout Gov. George Ryan's proposed $4.7 billion budget for DHS, including a 30 percent increase for state-subsidized child care.

That's wonderful. Ryan has continued and even surpassed former Gov. Jim Edgar's level of commitment in this area, knowing that parents can't work their way off welfare without child care.

So we asked: What is Ryan doing right now to help parents who normally aren't eligible for subsidized day care, but because of the state's bungled child support check system are struggling to pay their bills?

(And day care is a big bill. One 5-year-old costs more than $400 a month at Rogy's, one of the city's largest providers.)

It didn't take long for Baker and her staff to say there's money available in DHS' budget now to help parents with chronically late checks.

That's wonderful. We hope the parents who need it saw the story and will push to get this short-term help.

In the Peoria area, call 679-0945 or (800) 301-3304 to see if you qualify for an exemption.

But we'd like to point out that a pro-active governor - not one consumed with reacting to the latest scandal - would have pushed this solution, not been pushed into it.

Also, we'd like to mention that Peoria County Circuit Clerk Regina Spears did make it to last

Saturday's child support meeting at the Carver Center. No other elected official did.

State Sen. George Shadid, D-Edwards, was even hand-delivered an invitation but said he had plans. Tsk. Tsk.


-- Carl Jenkins (, February 15, 2000

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