Workforce. The Arc has joined with IARF, UCP and the Institute in coalition to advocate for a $15.00 per hour starting wage for Direct Care Professionals (DSP’s). We have written a letter to the Governor requesting a meeting to discuss the crisis of recruiting and retaining Direct Service Professionals in the community. In response to our letter, DHS Secretary Dimas is setting up a meeting with our Coalition including Directors Fenton & Smith and Greg Bassi, Office of the Governor. Senator Heather Steans has drafted legislation that calls for a $15.00 per hour starting wage for DSP’s. I will let you know when the bill is introduced and we have a bill number. In addition to working with the Coalition members, I am also working with IARF on messaging and campaign materials.

Managed Care. The Arc’s Public Policy Committee is updating our Position on Integrated Care Phase III. As you know, The Arc opposes Phase III. We feel the need to update our Position because of the recent UIC Evaluation of Phase I & II. The evaluation clearly shows that managed care is not saving the state any money and other important findings. More to come.

Rebalancing. The Arc and the Going Home Coalition will be meeting with Secretary Dimas about the recent homicides and sexual abuse at the Murray Developmental Center. We will once again be calling for the Administration to close six of the seven fully operational state institutions in Illinois.

Washington D.C. Update. Wednesday, led by Marty Ford, Senior Executive Officer, Public Policy for The Arc, we hosted a webinar, “Federal Policy Update.” Other Arc Staff included Annie Acosta, Director, Fiscal & Family Support Policy and Nicole Jorwic, Director, Rights Policy. Our national office in D.C. has a remarkable staff of outstanding advocates and is recognized for their leadership on “the hill.” Their presentation covered the budget, special education, the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA), the CMS Rules on Home & Community Based Services, the ABLE Act and recruiting members of the Congress to become disability champions. Click here for the Presentation and handouts on WOIA and New CMS Rules.

Ligas. The Court Monitor will be submitting her first report on the implementation of the Ligas Consent Decree on Friday. It will be interesting to see the Court Monitor’s findings and recommendations. Ligas Court Monitor Ronnie Cohn will be a speaker at The Arc’s Leadership Conference presenting for the first time on the “Ligas Report & Recommendations.” You will want to be there next month for the Court Monitor’s Report and its impact on the developmental disability system.

Employment First. The Senate Human Service Committee is holding a hearing on Employment First, Wednesday, January 13th, 10:00, Room 409 in the Capitol. We understand the hearing is for the Administration to give the committee an update on Employment First.

Rally. Our annual Rally in the Capitol with the Going Home Coalition is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11, 2016! Stipends are available for lodging and transportation to participate by contacting The Arc.

tony signature

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)