Dear Sarah,

This letter was sent Thursday and we recommend you also send a similar letter to Governor Rauner.


July 21, 2016

The Honorable Bruce Rauner
Illinois Governor
207 Statehouse
Springfield, IL 62706

RE:          Disability Living Wage Act (House Bill 5931)

Governor Rauner:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations representing children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities receiving services and supports in Illinois, the frontline staff that support them, and community-based providers across Illinois, we urge you to sign the Community Disability Living Wage Act (House Bill 5931) into law.

Governor, the single most critical issue facing our state’s ability to provide person centered services and supports for 27,000 children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities is the inability to recruit and retain frontline staff.

As you are no doubt aware, on January 7, 2016, the Ligas Court Monitor found Illinois out of compliance with the consent decree.  The Court Monitor’s report is filled with statements and examples from service providers outlining how the workforce crisis has negatively impacted their ability to provide quality services and supports.  Governor, the workforce crisis has reached a point that providers are concerned about ensuring basic health and safety needs are met.

The Community Disability Living Wage Act (House Bill 5931) is the coalition’s proactive approach to addressing the workforce crisis. When this legislation came to Committee for discussion (as well as its counterpart, SB 2952), nearly 7,000 individuals from across the state signed witness slips in support of the bill.  We know of no other initiative this Spring, or in recent memory, that has garnered this level of public support.  Representative Robyn Gabel and Senator Heather Steans worked with their colleagues to see this legislation pass the General Assembly with 107 yes votes. The overwhelming support for this legislation as it navigated the legislative process is a testament to its critical importance.

Governor, since House Bill 5931 was sent to you for consideration, we know the level of support and advocacy across our state has continued to grow.  Since the legislation passed the legislature, thousands of calls, emails, postcards, and letters have been directed to your offices urging your signature on the legislation.

Governor Rauner, Illinois residents with disabilities and those that care about them depend on the DSP workforce for their very existence.  The strain that the workforce crisis imposes upon the lives of our most vulnerable residents has reached a desperate level and is putting the safety and wellbeing of people in jeopardy.  We urge you to show your support for Illinoisans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and sign House Bill 5931 into law.


Tony Paulauski,
The Arc

Janet S. Stover,
Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities

Kathy Carmody
The Institute for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Mike Bibo
Center for Developmental  
Disabilities Advocacy &

Vickie Kean,
Don Moss & Associates

Ed McManus,
McManus Consulting

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