The Arc’s Legislative Agenda for 2016/2017 will include, but not be limited to, the following:
Budget & Revenue
This is an ongoing processing each year. The Arc supports the extension of the state’s income tax.
We continue to advocate for an end to the waiting list, closure of State developmental centers, implementation of the Ligas Consent Decree and the transition of people into the community.
Value the Work Campaign
The Arc will continue advocate for increasing the wages and benefits of Direct Care Professionals with the Value the Work Campaign.
Criminal Justice System and People with ID/DD
We will work on legislation dealing with the treatment of persons with DD and ID in the corrections and criminal justice systems and police training with the Guardianship & Advocacy Commission.
We will be working with the Governor’s Employment Task Force to implement Employment First. We are also considering the new requirements of the Workforce Innovations law recently signed by President Obama. We may consider a bill that incorporates some of its requirements into Illinois law, especially with respect to preparation of youth for integrated competitive employment.
There are some issues regarding the way PUNS is administered. The Developmental Disability Council is taking the lead on this. This is one issue. The other issue has to do with persons being wrongly found ineligible for Medicaid and consequently being denied long-term support services when they are called in off of the PUNS. This has to do with the counting of household income under the MAGI methodology. Federal regulations say that persons who are SSI eligible do not come under the MAGI methodology, which means only the individual’s income should be considered. We are working along with Health & Disability Advocates with DHS to correct the Medicaid issue, and we are going to explore a change in Illinois’ State Medicaid Plan so that anyone found eligible for SSI based on a disability is automatically eligible for Medicaid. We are one of a handful of states that still require a separate application for Medicaid for individuals who are already eligible for SSI. This also extends to people eligible for SSDI which makes them eligible for Medicare but not necessarily Medicaid and they have to wait two years for Medicare to kick in.
Firearm Operators Identification Card (FOID) Reporting
We should also consider a bill that excludes residential programs for persons with DD and ID from concealed carry. The reporting requirements are discriminatory and assume that persons with DD are inherently dangerous, which is a misconception that leads to discriminatory actions, especially in the areas of housing and employment.
We will continue to oppose Phase III Integrated Care Program, the managed care of developmental disability services.
We will consider setting up a legislative task force to review the amount of time individuals with I/DD spending in waiting or emergency rooms in local hospitals. In addition, we will look into people with I/DD, especially those with a dual diagnosis, not be accepted to local psychiatric programs in community hospitals and being shipped to substandard options
We will work with the Illinois Assistive Technology Project and the Coleman Institute on a legislative resolution on the rights of people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access.
CILA Licensure and Certification Act
Amend the Act to incorporate provisions of the current rules and due process rights.
In addition we will work on national disability advocacy issues with The Arc of the United States.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423