Senator Ram VillivalamSPRINGFIELD - Governor Pritzker’s second budget address was today. His proposal highlighted funding increases for education, including an additional $50 million for the childhood block grant, a $100 million increase to Child Care Assistance Program, and a $7 million increase in Early Intervention Funding.

“I’m pleased to see Governor Pritzker propose a budget that will drastically increase funding for early education,” said State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago). “I represent many young parents who often struggle to balance child care while working a full time job, and I’m heartened to see the governor moving to lighten the burden of working parents.”

The governor’s proposal also includes a $50 million increase for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) financial aid program for university students, $5 million for a new community college apprenticeship grant program, and continued funding for the AIM HIGH program.

“The proposed increases to the state’s need-based financial aid programs for college students, the early childhood block grant, and fully funding our pension system are a good start to righting our fiscal ship and encouraging people to invest in our state. I look forward to working with the governor to bring real progressive change to our state.”