Yesterday, The Arc’s Board of Director’s met held a Board Retreat to discuss priorities
and strategic planning. Priority areas included increasing advocacy outreach, flexible
funding and workforce issues.
Today in the Capitol, House Dem’s will consider the override on the DON score which
the Administration backed away from yesterday. The House goes into session at noon
and the Senate at 1:00 P.M.
Also today, we are hosting a meeting with Comcast to discuss our assistive technology
program. Past President of The Arc of the United States Nancy Webster will be joining
us. Comcast has a great partnership with The Arc, and we hope to expand that
partnership here in Illinois.
Thursday, I head back to Chicago to meet with LEND students at the Institute for
Disability & Human Development.
Story from the State Journal Register on possible actions in the Capitol today.
CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office took steps in three areas Monday that the
Republican administration said showed “compromise” during a budget stalemate,
though some Illinois Democrats and advocates remained skeptical a day ahead of a
legislative session at the Capitol.
The first-term governor announced an agreement with labor and business groups
on proposed unemployment insurance changes. He also said the administration
would ease restrictions on who qualifies for state-subsidized child care and drop
plans to curb which elderly and disabled Illinoisans can get state-funded services,
two issues that were heavily protested by advocacy groups.
“You’re seeing lots of legislative movement and compromise,” Rauner spokesman
Mike Schrimpf said. “All of these issues … took serious and lengthy negotiations with
However, it’s unclear which moves will stick in a Democratic-controlled legislature
that’s been at odds with Rauner for months over a spending plan. Rauner wants
pro-business reforms and other changes aimed at curbing union power before a
budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. Democrats want him to sign off on
new taxes, among other things.
Senate President John Cullerton’s spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said the
chamber was “hopeful” the moves were a sign the administration was ready to
resolve “larger budget issues.” But House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman
Steve Brown was unconvinced, saying some unemployment insurance ideas had
already been settled, and legislation restoring funding to the child care assistance
program was likely to emerge Tuesday.
Over the summer, Rauner drastically reduced who qualified for the low-income
working parents program because there was no budget. His office also raised co-
pays and instituted other requirements like background checks. Advocates said the
changes left some 70,000 low-income children without care.
But Rauner reversed course on Monday, easing many restrictions, though the
higher co-pays will stick. He announced a task force to review the program’s long-
term stability. His changes, which a spokesman said avoid the high cost of pending
legislation, require approval from a rule-making committee that meets Nov. 17.
While some advocates saw Rauner’s proposal as heartening, including the leading
advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children, they still pushed for legislation.
“After five months of devastating cuts to child care, families and advocates are
understandably wary of deals that might compromise Illinois’ commitment to
ensuring families can remain self-sufficient by working,” Voices policy director Emily
Miller said in statement.
Rauner also officially abandoned plans to further restrict which elderly and disabled
Illinois residents qualify for state services, notifying federal officials Monday that the
state won’t change its way of assessing who gets help. The decision was essentially
made last week when Rauner rewrote legislation covering the same issue. But his
use of amendatory veto also limited qualifying residents to institutional or at-home
care, not both. Rauner said Illinois has spent too much money on taxpayer-
subsidized facility care when “when less expensive and more appropriate options
The bill’s sponsor has said he’s studying the veto and considering an override
Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois, an advocate of
protecting such state help, deemed Rauner’s moves “last-minute jockeying.”
The unemployment insurance proposal, part of Rauner’s initial pro-business
agenda, includes denying benefits to laid-off workers in certain cases such as
providing false information on an employment application and damaging an
employer’s property through gross negligence. The proposal allows laid-off
workers eligible for Social Security to receive a full unemployment benefit. Rauner
announced the agreement in a joint statement with business groups and the Illinois
The bills are HB2482 (nursing home), SB570 (child care) and SB1941 (
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423