Today, Phil Milsk our Governmental Affairs Consultant and I are headed to Chicago to meet with Senator Heather Steans. Senator Steans is a former Arc Legislator of the Year and the Chairperson of the important Senate Appropriations Human Services Committee. The Senator is also the sponsor of the DSP Wage Legislation that would raise the starting wage of DSP’s to $15.00 per hour. The DSP Wage Bill remains on the Governor’s desk while we are requesting that he sign this important legislation. Phil and I will cover a number of disability issues including the stopgap budget, rebalancing and the upcoming Veto Session.
On Wednesday, The Arc will host a webinar with Director Fenton and his staff on the recent stopgap budget signed by Governor Rauner for Arc Exec’s and the Board of Directors. The Director and his team will explain the new budget and what it will mean for Developmental Disability Services including community grants. In preparation for this presentation we have forwarded to the Director questions about the new budget.
On Friday, it will be my pleasure to meet with our new Board member Paul Blobaum to discuss his role on The Arc’s Board of Directors. – Paul is an active advocate for his brother who is impacted by physical and intellectual disabilities. He is an academic librarian at Governors State University, working with Health and Human Services students for 15 years. He has taught workshops on grant writing and managed grant information for GSU for several years and has written grant proposals for library collections, public programs, and archival preservation. He also has professional experience with presenting to Health Care Policy courses, on tracking the legislative process at the state and federal level, and public policy analysis (for BSW, BSN, MSN, DNP AND MSW students). He served as President of the Faculty Senate in 2007-2008 and has chaired other University committees such as Educational Policy, Faculty search committees, and served on the Institutional Research Board (IRB) for 10 years. He is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Association of Microboards and Cooperatives and is trained as a PATH Facilitator. Paul will serve a 3 year term.
From Representative Greg Harris over the weekend. “I am sorry to see that Gov. Rauner has just vetoed HB 4351, my legislation which would have protected community-based services for tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities. We should be doing everything we can to support our older neighbors and people with disabilities to live independently and productively, instead of moving them to costly institutional care.”
This bill would have maintained the DON score instead of lowering it as proposed by the Governor. Next step is an override of the veto I am sure.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423