Heading to Chicago today to meet with advocates.
The saga continues here in Illinois. All of the research and data supports closing state institutions but the Administration fails to move forward with rebalancing. We know people have a higher quality of life, they are safer and healthier. So Illinois will continue to spend $248,000 per person or $700 per day as the people languish in institutions. Very sad indeed!
Story from Medill News Service below. Arc quoted.
MARCH 9, 2016
By Shen Wu Tan
The seven Illinois state-operated developmental centers, housing individuals with developmental disabilities, will not close, according to the second proposed state budget.
Due to the number of individuals still living in these centers and the amount of time it takes to transition these residents into the community, the state cannot justify shutting down the centers, said Marianne Manko, director of communications at the Illinois Department of Human Services.
“Everybody’s situation is so specific to them so we have to measure who is capable of living in what type of a situation that is going to be the safest for them and provide them with the best services,” Manko said. “Is it possible that we will keep other institutions open? Absolutely. Is it possible that we could shut all of them down over a ten-year period, for example? That is a possibility, too.”
Although no state centers will close, the Illinois Department of Human Services aims to have 50 fewer residents in state centers each year. Depending on the number of individuals entering centers, the number of residents who transition to community living varies from year to year.
Tony Paulauski, executive director of the Arc of Illinois, said he is disappointed that the budget plan does not include the closures of state centers. The organization called for the closures of six of the seven developmental centers, also referred to as state institutions.
By not closing developmental centers, Paulauski said the “second budget really flies in the face of all of the data” that displays the high costs of placing an individual in institutionalized care. “It’s better for people’s lives to close state institutions and invest in community living.”
The Arc of Illinois estimates the state spent approximately $429 million in 2014 during the Quinn administration to operate state developmental centers that served about 1,700 individuals with developmental disabilities.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423