This has been an action packed year to say the least but the leadership and advocacy of The Arc has made great strides in 2011.This past year, The Arc was engaged in a major media campaign – LIFE – that restored $74 million in cuts to important disability supports and services. Community rates were going to be reduced by 10%, home-based services were going to be cut by 10% and respite care, dental clinics and other grant services were going to be eliminated. We generated major editorial board support for closing state institutions and reinvesting in community services. Today, the Governor and the Legislative Leaders understand the importance of rebalancing the disability system.
This fall the Governor introduced a Rebalancing Initiative. The Initiative will close four state institutions over the next two and a half years: 600 individuals will find freedom in the community.
The Governor has approved the Ligas Consent Decree which will offer community living to individuals in ICFDD’s and move 3,000 adults with developmental disabilities off the waiting list.
In Washington D.C. The Arc continues our advocacy with President Obama and the Congress. Our new leadership in The Arc is asserting our power as a major grassroots organization stronger than ever.
We have done much to change the tide here in Illinois and, heaven knows, we have so much more to do with the institutional closings, managed care, the waiting list, inadequate rates and continued delayed payments from the state.
Thank you for your support of The Arc as we move this institutional disability system in Illinois to community supports and services for every infant, child and adult with a disability. In this New Year, we will continue our advocacy and leadership with renewed vigor.
I wish you a joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!
I am taking some time off to enjoy my family and our precious grandchildren.
Take good care.
Statement From Governor Quinn on Settlement to Benefit Elders and Illinoisans With Disabilities
CHICAGO – December 20, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding the settlement of the last of the Olmstead class action lawsuits.
“I have made community care a priority of my administration, and our long-term goal is to rebalance Illinois’ approach towards older adults and persons with disabilities by expanding choices for those who want to live in the community.
“An important step in this process was settling the three Olmstead class action lawsuits, which had been pending for many years. I committed to resolving these lawsuits when I took office, and today’s decree allows Illinois to move forward and increase opportunities and independence for our state’s elders and residents with disabilities.
“With these settlements and our other rebalancing initiatives underway, Illinois is well on its way to assuring older adults and people with disabilities care and treatment in the most community-integrated settings appropriate for their conditions. We are moving in the right direction on community and home-based care, and I look forward to continuing this effort.”
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423