Another jam packed week for The Arc.
Today in the Capitol, the House and Senate Human Services Committee meets to consider House Bill 6304 and Senate Bill 2610. The Arc opposes those two bills and I have received a few communications about why we are opposing the bills. Please see my testimony below. Quite frankly, this is not the direction our system should be headed.
Also today the Going Home Coalition meets to finalize our Day at the Capitol, Wednesday, May 11th. Plan on attending. Stipends are available for self-advocates to attend.
Wednesday the Executive Forum meets to discuss “Meaningful Person-Centered Services.” This promises to be an outstanding presentation. Later on we meet to discuss an update of our Going Home Video featuring people who have successfully transitioned out of state institutions.
Thursday, I meet with the new leadership at Mutual of America. Mutual offers great services to members of The Arc and other non-profits. Some of our current members have saved thousands of dollars by working with Mutual of America. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about their services for non-profits.
Friday I’m in Chicago to meet with Arc U.S. CEO Peter Berns. Should be a great week.
Here is my testimony. It is the same for the Senate Bill 2610 but different numbers.
The Arc of Illinois opposes House Bill 6304 and we urge you to vote no on this bill for the following reasons.
HB 6304 takes the disability service system in the opposite direction we should be going in Illinois.
In our opinion, the service delivery model described in this bill would not qualify for federal matching funds under the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Home & Community-Based (CMS) Rules governing 1115 waiver requirements.
CMS has made it very clear that any settings that are exclusively for persons with disabilities, including campuses, will be rejected. (Just the word “campus” will be a huge red flag.)
The movement is toward integrated community living and activities, including employment, and if the individual needs additional modifications, the burden is on the State to show that those modifications are in the least restrictive environment appropriate to meet the individual’s needs and preferences.
In addition, person-centered planning is required by the new CMS rules, and we question whether the bill incorporates the requirements as outlined in the rules.
We were told recently that many legislators are not aware of these new CMS rules. Non-compliance with these rules could result in funding this model with only general revenue.
What we should be doing legislatively is incorporating the new CMS requirements into rule or law and not creating a different system that is not in compliance, therefore putting Medicaid match for disability services at risk.
Please oppose HB 6304.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423