This morning the State and the Advocates (Equip, ACLU, and Intervenors) will meet in Federal Court for a status report on Ligas. You will recall that on January 7, 2016, Ronnie Cohn, the Court Monitor, issued the Fourth Annual Report of the Monitor. The Report was filed with the Court on January 8, 2016 with a finding of non-compliance.
The Monitor found that the rates the State is paying to ICF/DDs and to CILAs, which have not increased since March 2008, have caused a “staffing crisis and resulting decrease in service quality as well as a lack of development in the community.” This is in violation of the State’s obligation of the Consent Decree to honor the residential choices of individuals with developmental disabilities and to provide the necessary “services, supports and other resources” consistent with those choices. The Monitor also found that the failure of the State to enact a budget for State Fiscal Year 2016 violates the Decree.
The Defendants’ (the State) disagreed with the Monitor’s finding of non-compliance, noting that transition benchmarks in the Decree continue to be met and that the budget impasse has not resulted in any payment delays or reductions to Ligas providers in comparison to FY15. In fact, many providers are receiving payments faster than they did during FY15 when the State was operating with a budget.
The Monitor, the Parties, and the Intervenors met on January 21, February 11, February 26 and March 10, 2016, in an effort to find a resolution. The talks have not provided any outcomes at this point.
The Monitor, the Parties and the Intervenors intend to continue meeting to use their best efforts to achieve a resolution without the intervention of the Court. If those efforts fail, the Monitor, Plaintiffs and Intervenors will seek appropriate relief from the Court.
The next status report should be in about two months and could be extremely interesting if there is no resolution to the non-compliance findings.
Parts of my report to you are taken from the status report.
The Arc of Illinois
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