The past few weeks I have been targeting legislators regarding the high cost of state
institutions and our call to close 6 of the 7 fully operational state institutions here in Illinois.
Yesterday, I met with State Representative Bellock, the Governor’s Budget Director Tim
Nuding, Director Romano and State Senator Rose. These were very productive meetings.

The Disability System in Illinois remains one of the most institutional in the United States.
With the recent Supreme Court’s ruling on pensions money, is now going to be tighter
than ever and cuts to disability and human services are under consideration this very
moment. That is why your legislators need to know that the real waste in the disability
system is in state institutions.

The information we have put together in the Community Integration Makes Sense Toolkit
is powerful and easy to use.  The data and findings are resources we have been utilizing
for years but now are in one toolkit. I have been using the toolkit in my recent meetings
with legislators and, let me tell you, the data and facts are meaningful to decision makers.

Take some time to review the toolkit and share it with your legislators and other advocates.

From the Toolkit:

Illinois is extremely institutional in the supports/services available with IDD. As a result,
Illinois is ranked among the lowest in the nation for funding and support for people with
disabilities to live full lives in the community and there are only two states that have more
people with disabilities institutionalized. Here are some quick facts about how Illinois
ranks compared to other states:

  • Illinois spends $482,754,550 annually on State Developmental Centers.
  • There are 1,730 individuals in seven fully operational state institutions, 3rd  highest
    in the nation.
  • Community Fiscal Effort Ranking is 47th
  • Size of residential Settings Ranking is 50th
  • 14 states/jurisdictions have closed ALL state institutions.
  • 49 of 51 states (including the District of Columbia) downsized institutions between
    2011– 2013.Facts about community programs:
  • The state can fund 4.5 people in the community for every one person in an institution.
  • Illinois is spending an average of $248,000 per person for institutional care vs. the
    average cost of $54,000 for offering improved supports and services in the
  • Institutional per day costs are now about $700 per person.


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)