Last night I gave testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee. The oral
testimony is always a shortened version of the written testimony which is here for your
review. I used my limited two minute time to highlight the importance of the Governor’s
Rebalancing Initiative and the positive impact it is having on the Developmental
Disability System. I was joined by a Direct Service Professional from the Hope Institute
and Josh Evans from IARF who both did an excellent job in the hearing.

Secretary Saddler presented a grim picture of what $398 million cuts would mean to
DHS Including $189 in cuts to Developmental Disability Services without continuation
of the income tax increase. Which could mean:

  1. A 20% cut to all community service rates
  2. Noncompliance with the Ligas Consent Decree
  3. Individuals being removed from community services
  4. Losing federal match due to noncompliance for community services
  5. Losing federal match due to noncompliance for state institutions

Here is the Secretary’s PowerPoint for the Senate Hearing.

Without confutation of the income tax we are in big trouble.This was not a pretty
picture and our future is at stake. I am told the House Human Services Appropriations
Committee is working on a budget with $800 million in cuts to the Dept of Human
Services.

Where does your legislator stand on the continuation on the income tax? Ask them to
support the continuation.

Today I will talk to legislators about the need for continuation of the income tax
increase, the Care Campaign and the importance of Rebalancing.

I am also meeting with Director Hanson, Division of Rehabilitation Services on
Employment First.

Here is a portion of my written testimony.

READ MORE

Tony 

SUPPORT REBALANCING

Institutional living in the United States is a relic of the past. In 1968, there were
194,650 individuals living in state institutions in the U.S. In 2009, that number dropped
to 33,732 and it continues to drop. It is predicted that by 2025 there will be no state
institutions in the United States.*

We need to continue Rebalancing the disability system. Rebalancing changes people’s
lives in a very positive way. I have personally met with many individuals who have
transitioned out of state institutions and not one of them would chose to go back.
Legislators should be supporting the Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative by continuing to
close costly non-productive state institutions by reinvesting those scarce resources in
the community. The current plan is a model for the nation. When the Rebalancing
Initiative is completed, about 600 individuals will have moved to the community and four
state institutions will have been closed.  Yet, after the plan is implemented, about 1,200
individuals will remain confined in state institutions. Illinois will remain one of the most
institutionalized states in the nation. We need to continue to close antiquated state
institutions, the most wasteful spending in the entire state budget. Moving individuals
back into the community is one of the most important things we can do for them.

*Braddock, D., State of the States in Developmental Disabilities, 2011.

END THE WAITING LIST


Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
 
Tony@www.thearcofil.org