State Rep. Mark Batinick is backing a bill which would provide an income tax credit for foster parents.
Batinick, R-Plainfield, is the chief co-sponsor of the bill, H.B. 5119, to create the tax credit, according to a news release. The credit would equal foster care expenses and is not to exceed $1,000 in any taxable year.
“This is one piece of legislation that will make a difference for those families who are foster parents,” Batinick said in the release. “I greatly admire the foster care families I have gotten to know in my district and appreciate all that they do to make a difference in the lives of children in need. I hope that this bill will provide them with some added financial stability so they can continue making an impact in foster care.”
Batinick added that he believes the integrity of the state’s foster care system is “under siege” and that the bill is a “step forward” to improving it.
Earlier this year, he spoke about the need for changes within the system after hearing about the experiences of foster parents within his district.
Batinick said the state was “failing” children in the foster care system. He cited the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Inspector General’s report from earlier this year which documented the deaths of 123 children last fiscal year who had contact with the agency within 12 months of their death. The total represented more than a 25% increase from the previous fiscal year.
If passed, the credit would go into effect immediately.