It was very strange the way the House Human Services Appropriations Committee convened, then immediately adjourned, without taking any action on the Dept. of Human Services budget. We will find out more today. Staff at the Division of Developmental Disabilities learned about the House budget proposal just before the committee hearing. No one knows the full details because most of the budget is a lump sum.
 
The House budget cut community services by $39 million over the Senate and Governor’s budgets!
 
The House transition line was cut to $14 million, down from the Governor’s budget of $21 million.
 
Murray Developmental Center was funded at $36 million and Jacksonville Developmental Center at $26 million!  This funding is at the expense of community services and the transition. The House and the Senate have let us down by supporting obsolete state institutions instead of good public policy and rebalancing the disability system. Re-election politics trumped good public policy once again in the Illinois General Assembly!
 
In my opinion the House and Senate members are going to kick the can down the road and force the administration to make cuts within the Division of Developmental Disabilities budget. Most of what you saw in my memo to you yesterday was a lump sum budget with very little detail. Decisions about funding grants for respite care, dental, family clinics, etc., will be left to DDD staff.
 
My communications with the Governor’s staff is that the rebalancing will continue regardless of the budget that is passed.
 
The Division of Developmental Disabilities has a consent decree to comply with, including moving people off of the waiting list and the need to fund community services to make the rebalancing successful.
 
This year’s budget will be a work in progress over the next few days, weeks and months, and The Arc will be working with other advocates to right the wrongs within this budget.
 
Director Casey will have his hands full with this budget, but he is up to the job and so is the Governor.
 
ACTION! They have not voted on a budget in the House so you still have time call your Representative at their Springfield office and tell them “Do not to vote for a state budget that funds state institutions.”
 
Here is a link to find you Representative’s contact information:http://www.elections.il.gov/DistrictLocator/DistrictOfficialSearchByAddress.aspx
  
Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
 
Tony@www.thearcofil.org