02272020CM0275SPRINGFIELD – the Illinois Senate is one step closer to approving an effort led by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) to allow an early learning and youth development center to purchase the state-owned property it has occupied for decades from Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, a move that would require General Assembly approval.

Because the Carole Robertson Center for Learning sits on land that is not technically surplus state property, the transaction requires specific legislation. The plan has received the approval of Governor Pritzker’s office and DCFS.

“I am happy the Senate has moved The Carole Robertson Center one step closer to reaching independence. Unfortunately, the Center is in need of renovations that the state is simply unable to perform,” Van Pelt said. “Selling off state property is not a move anybody involved makes lightly, but in this case it is necessary. Under the Center’s ownership, it will become possible for thousands of disadvantaged children on Chicago’s West Side to benefit from renovations to the site.” 

The Center, an early childhood education non-profit, was established in 1976 and today serves over 1,000 children and families annually. If passed, the sale will occur immediately and would remain valid as long as the Center uses the property for a public child care facility, or else it may be reclaimed by the state.

“I urge the House to act swiftly to approve this transaction, which will allow the Carole Robertson Center to give children the same care they have since 1976 while freeing them to make much-needed improvements,” Van Pelt said.

The legislation is Senate Bill 2527, and just passed through the Senate 50-0. It awaits action from the House.

Category: Press Releases

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