Don’t miss the many events coming up in your neighborhood.  You can always check out

  • Arc/Self-Advocacy Alliance Regional Meetings for people with disabilities and families beginning Feb 26, Murphysboro; March 5, Galesburg; March 19, Springfield; March 20, Joliet; March 26, Arlington Heights Register here.  You will hear from the ISC, learn about self advocacy and talk about legislative advocacy.
  • Know Your Options Events – Learn About Adult Services, March 5, Aurora and March 12, Elmhurst.  Register here.
  • Save the Date for the Arc Convention!  April 24-25, Hilton Lisle

Minimum Wage Moves to Governor!
The House yesterday followed the Senate vote last week by passing 69 to 47 (with 1 present) to move SB1, which would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, to the Governor for his signature.  The Governor had been pushing to have a bill on his desk before his February 20

Rates Oversight Group
The Court mandated rates oversight group met this week to review the work of the subcommittees.  The nursing and staffing subcommittees have already submitted recommendations and the ICFDD subcommittee submitted theirs this week.  Three more subcommittees remain working.  There was discussion about the process for reviewing and agreeing upon recommendations by the full committee.  We also heard from Melissa Wright, former interim Director of DDD, who is still consulting on this and the supports waiver, that they are still working with the parties to get an outside rates assessor to look at all the recommendations and who would recommend the rate increases.  Apparently some in HFS want to do the rates calculations in house, but DDD is advocating for an external process.  Unfortunately because of contracting, it would expect to take 4-6 months to get someone on board, which is obviously not the speed we would like to see!  More to come from the employment/day task force, assistive technology and transportation task forces.

Ligas Court Hearing
Judge Coleman heard an update from the plaintiffs, interveners and defendants this week.  The mood was generally positive because the court monitor indicated that there was progress towards the issue of reasonable pace, how many people will move off the PUNS list each year, (we hope to hear something in the next week or two) as well as a potentially agreed upon implementation plan.  The quality monitoring for compliance with Ligas goals will start next week with a training for BQM and independent monitors.  At the Arc Leadership Conference last week, Ronnie indicated that they would expect to share the results of their findings with judge and the general public as well as inform on individual cases to the appropriate parties if things were found lacking.  There was discussion about the third party rates consultant and the judge seemed open to both using HFS capacity and making sure the external rates consultant could be used as well.  They will be coming back in May before the judge.

Lastly – I was corrected in my summary of the transition plans from the Governor’s Committees, where by I mentioned that they did not touch on disability very much.  However, it was highlighted to me that in the Equality, Equity and Opportunity Committee there was this specific references to the state needing fulfill its role in consent decrees – it is a pretty good statement so I thought I would share:

“Finally, the new administration should change the current lens the state uses when it comes to federal consent decrees that protect the civil and human rights of Illinois’ residents. Rather than view the consent decrees as an impediment, the state should commit to fulfilling the obligations required in consent decrees and embrace the settlements as a vehicle for transformative change that provide a floor—not a ceiling—for proper resource allocation and policymaking. The new administration should ensure that every state agency is aware of requirements imposed by various federal consent decrees and ensure Illinois is meeting the needs of populations protected by consent decrees. Improved and coordinated communication about the requirements of consent decrees among the agencies and divisions and the attorney general would ensure the state’s obligations are being met.”


Meg Cooch
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)