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Advocates continue push for child tax credit in Illinois

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(The Center Square) – A state child tax credit would be a game changer for thousands of low-income working families in Illinois, says Nicole Robinson, CEO of the YWCA of Metro Chicago.

“The additional influx of cash to take care of basic needs could reduce the number of Illinois children now living in poverty by 45%,” Robinson said. “I’m excited about it.”

Under legislation now being considered during the current session in Springfield, working families making under $70,000 a year and single heads of households making up to $50,000 a year would receive a tax credit of $700 a month per child. Robinson said the money would be “life-changing.”

Another proposal would give up to $300 a month for a child tax credit for qualifying families.

Robinson said when a family’s basic needs are met, that family can focus on the future, a better job, education and home ownership.

“I see the child tax credit as an investment in a family’s future,” she said. “When parents are less worried about how they are going to eat, how they are going to pay the rent, that unexpected health bill, that unexpected car repair, whatever it is, there is a little less stress.”

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Illinois has more than 440,000 children, 16% of the children in the state, who live in poverty. A four-person household with a combined income of $27,500 a year is an example of a family living at the poverty level.

“When it comes to the well-being of our children, Illinois is not where we need to be,” Robinson said. Passing the child tax credit would be a seismic shift, she said.

Robinson is heartened by the momentum on the issue at the state legislature during the current session. Legislators return Tuesday.

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