Well the day is here in the Capitol. The vote to override the Governor’s veto of House Bill 5139, which would increase the base wage for DSP’s to $15.00 per hour is upon us. You have done your jobs well. You have met with your elected officials at home. Even on Tuesday, legislators were getting calls  to support the override but this is an uphill battle for sure.

Stay tuned for an update on the override vote. It will take every Democrat in the House to vote for this override.

Little City scored a nice editorial on DSP wages from Reboot Illinois.

Caregivers for developmentally disabled go wanting in budget mess

While Republicans were busy chiding Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton for not joining them Monday to try to find a path toward a state budget, one of the lower-profile groups that has been suffering throughout the impasse and for years before that still was hoping for just a sliver of more hope in this fall veto session.

People with developmental disabilities, their families, friends and advocates who try to help them thrive, all are hoping lawmakers will override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of HB 5931.


Also Ben Stortz had a letter on the DSP crisis. The full letter is below.

Another important override vote we are watching is the Community Care Protection Bill (formerly as the DON score bill). This bill, in addition to preserving the minimum home services assessment score at 29, would prevent the State from removing 43,000 non-Medicaid eligible seniors from the Community Care Program, cutting their services in half, all while requiring a co-pay. Many individuals with IDD benefit from this important program.

In other news, the Legislative Leaders had an unproductive meeting with the Governor over the state budget. Another meeting of the Leaders and the Governor is to take place today. I am not expecting any breakthrough in these budget talks this week. The saga continues.

Community Disability Living Wage Act important for Will County
To the Editor:

There is an escalating – and completely avoidable – crisis facing individuals and families with developmental disabilities in Will County, and across the state. The wages available to direct support professionals (DSPs) who work with individuals with disabilities are no longer competitive with other employers, making it harder for agencies such as Cornerstone Services to provide services. This workforce crisis is the result of decade of stagnant funding from the state.

House Bill 5931, The Community Disability Living Wage Act, which passed the General Assembly in the spring, was a good first start to address this crisis by providing a living wage for DSPs. Unfortunately, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill, recognizing the issue of concern but not offering his own solution to the problem.

In Cornerstone’s 47 years of serving adults and children with disabilities, we’ve faced our share of funding difficulties, but never one this challenging. HB 5931 will ensure that our frontline staff, who work hard at our residences and day programs to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the 1,100 individuals we serve, can earn a living wage. The governor’s veto of HB 5931 has made matters worse, but together we can ensure that the General Assembly can fix this problem.

We need your help. I ask you to call on your state representatives and senators to go to Springfield and vote “yes” to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of HB 5931. Together we can ensure those that serve and support individuals with disabilities earn a living wage.

Ben Stortz
Cornerstone Services

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Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
708-828-0188 (CELL)