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Voices for Illinois Children April Newsletter

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Voices for Illinois Children April Newsletter

From Voices President Tasha Green Cruzat

Spring has brought some changes to Voices. Our organization is happy to announce the arrival of two new staff members with a third on the way!

S. Mayumi Grigsby joined our staff in February as a Policy Analyst. She has experience working with non-profit organizations and government agencies both in the United States and internationally. Mayumi has worked as Staff Counsel for Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, Fellow for Women’s Justice at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Legal Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice. She was also a Law and Public Policy Fellow for the Massachusetts Governor’s Office of Cabinet Affairs. In this role, she developed a proposed Mental Health Parity Enforcement Protocol Action Plan and an outreach plan to educate consumers about the Affordable Care Act implementation. Mayumi holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston.

Anna Rowan joined Voices in March as our Kids Count Project Manager. Anna’s previous work experience includes working as a policy analyst at the Education Trust in Washington D.C. While working at the Trust, she reviewed state and federal education policies as well as school and state-level data from across the country. She also interned with the Tennessee Department of Education where she assisted in an urban education improvement program. Anna has a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and received her master’s degree in public policy from Vanderbilt with a concentration in education policy.

John Gordon will be joining the Voices’ staff next week as a Policy Analyst. John has worked for the Illinois House of Representatives as a member of the Speaker’s Issues Development Staff and previously worked for the House as a Committee Clerk. John also interned in Springfield for the lobbying firm of Cook-Witter, Inc. This past year, he worked on Jack Frank’s successful campaign for McHenry County Board Chairman. John has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Budget Standstill

Illinois is now entering its 22nd month without a complete fiscal year budget. Many of you have read about the damage being done to the human services network of Illinois providers and institutions of higher education as the state either hasn’t appropriated enough funds for full-year operations or is months behind in paying its bills. Meanwhile, the bills keep mounting. ($12.7 billion as of this writing.) Voices will continue to call for a complete budget that fully funds vital services across the state.

The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid

As the U.S. House of Representatives began its debate on changes to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, Policy Analyst Mayumi Grigsby took a look at the impact the proposed changes could have on Illinois. Thousands of Illinois residents could see coverage curtailed or eliminated. While there was no vote on the measure, it’s entirely possible there could be similar or additional changes to the Medicaid program in the future.  You can read Mayumi’s analysis at http://www.voices4kids.org/proposed-medicaid-changes-could-mean-end-of-services-for-thousands-in-illinois/

State Earned Income Tax Credit

Last week, I testified before the Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee in support of legislation to double the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit. The federal EITC has lifted millions of individuals across the country out of poverty.  You can read more about it in a blog post from Voices’ Senior Policy Analyst Mitch Lifson at http://www.voices4kids.org/benefits-of-doubling-illinois-earned-income-tax-credit/.

Voices 30th Anniversary

Voices will celebrate our 30th anniversary when we hold our annual benefit on June 8th. The event will be held at Savage Smyth, 920 N. Franklin in Chicago from 6-10 p.m. Our annual benefit will raise essential funds to help Voices advance its mission. Registration will open soon, so keep an eye on our website. For more information you can contact our Director of Development, Jeannette Mihalek, at jmihalek@voices4kids.org.

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Voices for Illinois Children
208 South LaSalle St., Suite 1490
Chicago, IL 60604(312) 456-0600 


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