This morning the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Steering Committee met with a Ligas attorney to discuss the State’s Response to the Monitor’s Finding of Non-Compliance. What follows is my summary of the discussion.
The State’s denial of non-compliance came as no surprise to anyone. The State believes they are in compliance, having met the benchmarks of the decree so the finding of non-compliance is unwarranted. The State did indicate in their response: “The Department is committed to continuing discussions with the Plaintiffs, Intervenors, and Monitor to identify strategies and proposals outside of the Ligas Decree requirements that will reduce financial pressure on both community and ICF/DD providers.” Interesting.
The Attorney did say that this was going to be different from the Judge’s ruling about payments this summer if we do have to go back to court. The State offered further discussions in its response, “The Department remains committed to the tenets of the Ligas Decree and looks forward to suggestions from all sides on ways in which we can serve this population more effectively, efficiently and with enhanced overall outcomes.”
A process for negotiating compliance and non-compliance issues are part of the Ligas Consent Decree as well as a statement on funding Ligas (my words) regardless of the State budget.
With talk of further discussions and the possiblity of going back to court over non-compliance, the hope of a quick solution of enhancing rates and increasing wages for DSP’s diminishes.
Tomorrow, Thursday, the attorney’s on Ligas will hold a parties meeting. Should be interesting.
The DSP Steering Committee will meet on February 23rd.
March 14th will be a status hearing with the Judge on Ligas implementation.
The Arc of Illinois
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