Yesterday, Shirley Perez and I met with the new CEO of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities Nicole Jorwic. We look forward to a great working relationship with her. 


Arc Legislative Update
May 6, 2013
The bills listed below should be of interest to Arc members.  Unless otherwise indicated, the bills are moving through the process.   This week is committee deadline week in the second chamber.  In other words, substantive House bills must clear Senate Committees by Friday, and substantive Senate bills must clear House committees by Friday.  Some bills will be given extended deadlines. 
On the budget side, House Appropriations are now engaged in the process of developing budgets based on allocations given to them.  There are 5 House Appropriations Committees:  Elementary and Secondary Education, Human Services, Higher Education, Public Safety and General Services.   There are 2 Senate Appropriations Committees and they have been holding hearings on various agency budgets for several weeks.  
House Bill 97/HB 1731 (Meier)  SODC CLOSURES
The bills were identical and would have required DHS to track the progress of former Jacksonville DC residents and file a report with the General Assembly.  They also would have prevented the removal of any resident from any other SODC without consent until 3 months after the filing of the report on former Jacksonville residents.   Both bills were assigned to a Subcommittee of the House Human Services Committee and have been re-referred to the Rules Committee, meaning the bills do not appear to be moving.
The bill would have restored provisions that were repealed by the SMART Act (P.A. 97-689) that required DHFS to promulgate rules establishing a policy of bed reserve payments to ICF-DDs.   The bill was held in the House Rules Committee (i.e., not assigned to a committee) All bills filed this year pertaining to the restoration of services repealed or reduced under the SMART Act have not been allowed to advance in either house.   There is a chance that the final budget and budget implementation legislation might restore some services, but we will not know that until close to the end of session.
Creates the Vulnerable Adults Abandonment Prevention Task Force Act.  Creates a new Task Force to address the “growing problem” of vulnerable adults being left without regard for their mental and physical health, safety or welfare.  There would be 14 members of the Task Force, include 12 legislators (3 from each caucus) and 2 members appointed by the Governor.  ICDD will provide administrative support to the Task Force.  The Task Force will conduct a study on the abandonment of persons with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, persons with mental illness, dementia and other similar conditions  and make recommendations to protect these individuals including consideration of criminal penalties.  A report is due on or before January 1, 2014, and the Task Force is abolished by May 31, 2014.   The bill passed the House and is now in the Senate Criminal Law Committee, which assigned it to a subcommittee on CLEAR Compliance.  It is scheduled for hearing on May 8, 2013 at 8:00 a.m.
Creates the DD Regulatory Advisory Board appointed by the Director of DHS/DDD.  The Board is to advise the Director regarding administrative rules proposed by DHS under 59 Illinois Administrative Code Parts 115, 116, 119 and 120.  The bill sets forth the membership of the Board and requires DHS to provide staff and administrative support.  The bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate, where it has been approved by the Human Services Committee and is on 2nd Reading.  There is a Senate Amendment regarding the implementation date, that was approved by the Committee.
This bill would create a new Adult Protective Services Act by combining the functions of the domestic abuse, neglect and exploitation investigations program now under the DHS-OIG with the Department on Aging’s older adult protection services.  The new program would be placed under the Department on Aging and would be carried out by Area Agencies on Aging.
There are many details to be worked out on this proposal.  Department on Aging has reached out to the Arc and other disability groups and seems to be striving to establish cooperative working relationships.  The bill passed the House and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  It is scheduled to be heard on May 7th at 3:00 p.m.
Initiative of Illinois Partners for Human Services to refinance debt owed to health and human services providers.   The bill would authorize $2.5 billion in new bonds to pay back bills.  Priority would be given to Medicaid-eligible services and the federal match would be deposited into a dedicated fund that would be used to make payments on the bonds.  This bill is essentially dead, but the issue is very much alive and Arc has joined a number of other groups to advocate for the measure.   House Amendment #1 (Currie) is the actual language of the proposal. 
This is the Arc’s Employment First legislation that is supported by the Governor and the State Task Force on Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities.  It is modeled on legislation that has been enacted in Kansas and Delaware recently.   It makes Illinois an Employment First state and requires State agencies to work collaboratively to share data, review policies and make changes necessary to enable individuals with disabilities to choose competitive integrated employment as a first option.   The bill passed the House and has advanced out of the Senate Human Services Committee as an agreed bill.  The bill is currently on 2nd Reading in the Senate.
A bill the Arc has worked on with Health and Disability Advocates.   The bill provides that when a parent files a State Complaint with the State Board of Education, the respondent (usually a school district) must provide the parent with a copy of its response.  Currently, the parent is required to file a Freedom of Information request with the State Board to get a copy of the response.  Also, the bill would allow a parent to invoke the “stay-put” placement provisions of the School Code by filing a request for Mediation. (Stay-Put is currently limited to the filing of a Due Process hearing request with 10 days of the notice of placement change.)  Mediation is voluntary, so the school district can simply decline Mediation and the 10 day due process rule goes into effect.  The bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate.  It has cleared the Senate Education Committee and is on 2nd Reading in the Senate.
The bill corrects a discrepancy between IDEA, the Illinois School Code and ISBE Rules by providing that the implementation timeline for new or revised IEPs is 10 school attendance days after notice to the parents is sent regarding the new IEP or IEP modifications.  The bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate Education Committee. It will be heard on May 7th at 1:00 p.m.
Amends the School Code section regarding secondary transition plans by requiring at least one independent living goal in each student’s IEP transition plan.  Currently the law only requires independent living goals “if appropriate”.   The bill passed the Senate and was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee last week.  It is on 2nd Reading in the House.
SB 26(Steans/Feigenholtz)  MEDICAID EXPANSION   
The bill would opt Illinois into the Affordable Care Act provisions that expand the Medicaid program to low income individuals up to 133% of the federal poverty level who are currently not eligible.   The bill has passed the Senate and is currently in the House Rules Committee.

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)