In such a desperate budget year, people with developmental disabilities fared quite well in Governor Quinn’s proposed state budget for FY 2014.  There are no cuts to community services.  In fact, the expansion of community services continues.
There are 1,150 individuals moving into the community:
500 people will come off the waiting list as a result of the Ligas Consent Decree.
200 people move from ICFDD’s to smaller community living arrangements as a result of the Ligas Consent Decree.
The state institution in Centralia, Murray Developmental Center, will close and the 260 residents there will finally have the opportunity to live a full life of their choice in the community as a result of Governor Quinn’s Rebalancing Initiative.
In addition, another 100 individuals in state institutions will transition into the community as a result of Governor Quinn’s Rebalancing Initiative.
There are 90 children aging out of the DCFS system funded in this budget who will go to adult developmental disability services.
Community grants including Respite Care, The Autism Project, UIC Family Clinic, UIC Assistive Technology, Epilepsy Grant, Dental Grant, Best Buddies and the Illinois Life Span Grant, are all funded at last year’s level.
The proposed budget allocates funds to pay all old bills on hand for Developmental Disability Service Providers, Community Care Programs, Home Services Programs and Medicaid costs within DHS.
While we appreciate the efforts to rebalance the system, some of the things missing from this budget, as in past years, include increased wages for direct care professionals.  There is no acknowledgement of the anticipated health insurance costs for non profits as the Affordable Care Act begins to kick in, requiring health insurance coverage for all employees.
This proposed budget could have been a lot worse.  The Governor once again in his budget address acknowledged how heavily institutionalized Illinois is and reaffirmed his commitment to rebalance the Illinois system. 
No new state institutions beyond Murray will be closed in the new fiscal year, however, I fully expect another two state institutions to close by 2015 as a part of the Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative.
I anticipate possible cuts to developmental disability services as the House and Senate now begin to craft their own budget for FY 2014.  The game is far from being over.
We appreciate Governor Quinn’s commitment to people with developmental disabilities.Here is a link to the state budget so you can do your own research.

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)