MOLINE, Ill. — Illinois State Senator Win Stoller (R) from District 37 is speaking out against Governor J.B. Pritzker's recently announced child care plan.
Gov. Pritzker visited Rock Island on Feb. 23 to promote his 'Smart Start' plan which aims to give all three and four-year-old kids access to a preschool program by 2027.
If approved, the program would cost $250 million.
Stoller agreed that child care is a huge issue that needs addressing, but is concerned because it would be another new program to fund.
"When we look at the things that we could or should be spending money on, we still have K-12 education, we have higher education, healthcare - we gotta be making sure we're taking care of that," Stoller said.
In particular, Stoller said funding to help the developmentally disabled needs to be a focus.
"When all parties came together... bipartisan, we all agreed that we should fund the developmentally disabled according to this plan," Stoller said. "In the first two years, we've underfunded it by $375 million. With the governor's proposed budget, if that would actually become law this year, that plan would be underfunded by over $500 million."
Stoller also spoke out about Illinois energy, which he is supporting several senate bills for.
The senator said energy costs need to be reduced for families and businesses.
"I hear from a lot of people that are shocked when they open their bill each month, and they're like, 'How much has it gone up? Again?' How is this possible?" Stoller said.
Stoller recently announced support for Senate Bill 2200 which would give $200 million in rebates to Illinois energy customers affected by increased power bills.
The senator also voiced concerns over the state's energy production. He is supporting Senate Bill 1548 which would reduce regulations from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Stoller said the Illinois EPA has prevented new power plants from starting in a timely manner.
"We are too quickly taking off our traditional sources of energy – coal, natural gas, and so forth before there's adequate supply of new energy," he said. "What has happened is that we are now importing coal fired energy from Kentucky and other states at a much, much higher cost."
Stoller said he's still supportive of green and renewable energy, but that it needs to happen with better coordination.
Because of redistricting, 2023 is Stoller's first year representing parts of the WQAD viewing area, which includes all of Whiteside County and parts of Henry, Bureau and Rock Island Counties. He has served as a senator since 2021.