Session With Director Fenton on the Stopgap Budget
I asked Director Fenton to do an overview of the recent stopgap budget signed by the Governor as it relates to services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Director was also joined by Gary Marlon Kramer, CPA, Bureau Chief/Reimbursement & Program Support for today’s session.
The following is my summary of the session and subject to change.
This session was recorded if you would like to view the entire presentation which was just under one hour in length. View the recording of this special session on the Stopgap Budget here.
The Director clearly stated that this continues to be a work in progress and that we are in uncharted territory with the Stopgap 18 Month Budget for Fiscal Years 2016 & 2017. While an 18 month budget was passed there was not the revenue to support the 18 month budget. The budget that was passed was not adopted in the traditional manner of past budgets and with the state’s accounting system the processing of payments remains problematic. The budget passed only gave spending authority through December 31st, 2016.The Division is working hard on your behalf and he recommended that if you have questions or concerns to email, Mary Hebert at, Mary.Hebert@illinois.gov
The Director then gave a general overview of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 which is similar to the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget with the addition of named grants such as The Autism Program, The Arc’s Life Span Program, etc. Spending for State Operated Developmental Centers remains constant.
Court ordered consent decrees including Ligas will remain a priority for funding including funding for class members coming off the PUNS Waiting List.
It is anticipated that prompt funding payments covered under the Ligas Consent Decree will continue into FY 17. Other services including grants like TAP, Life Span, respite care, etc. not covered by the consent decree will not receive prompt funding.
Other grants not named in the Stopgap Budget like the UIC Assistive Technology and Family Clinic: Micro Boards & Cooperatives and more do not have contracts or appropriations but are being reviewed for possible Medicaid match.
Some questions covered by the Director included:
For FY 2016, what if any programs that are not covered by consent decrees will be reimbursed for services rendered? ANSWER: All services that had a contract including respite services will be funded.
Also will any grant programs like TAP and Life Span receive any FY 16 funding? ANSWERE: Only if there was a signed contract.
What will happen to community funding after Dec, 2016? ANSWER: The Director stated that we all hope a full year budget will be agreed upon but the Division only had spending authority through December. He does expect Ligas services to continue to be funded.
It is very clear that we are in uncharted territory with the new Stopgap Budget. The Division is working hard on your behalf.
In my opinion, we need to continue to communicate with our legislators that their work is not done. We need a real full year budget with new revenue and no cuts to disability services.
View the recording of this special session on the Stopgap Budget here.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423