Illinois Budget & Governor Shake Up
Illinois Budget Follow Up
Illinois passed a budget July 6. Here is a brief summary webinar from Everthrive that highlights the scope of the budget including revenue and spending.
Two of the main advocacy points for the Arc of Illinois was around the 75 cent wage increase and funding for DD grants. The Governor’s staff shake up seems to be slowing down decisions made by the Governor’s Office on Management and Budget and their recommendations to departments about contracts and implementation process.
DSP wage increase:
DHS is currently developing an implementation plan to address key questions about the roll out. In the BIMP (budget implementation bill), it indicated DHS should implement within 30 days of the legislation, but with the shakeups in leadership in the Governor’s Office, it is unclear how quickly we will get answer.
The Autism Program, Life Span, Best Buddies, and Epilepsy among others were funded in the budget. However, as you might know, the Legislature can pass a budget, but the Governor has a lot of power in deciding what funds to spend or not spend and also when to deliver contracts. We are very concerned that funding that has been allocated do autism and other programs will sit in an account rather than be used to help individuals.
More advocacy might need to be done on both issues. In addition to funding for DD grants and a 75 cent wage increase, here are some other areas of interest (thanks Phil Milsk, our lobbyist for the info!).
- Personal assistants in the Home Services Program will receive a wage increase of 48 cents/hour.
- The Personal Needs Allowance for Medicaid-Eligible residents of ICFDDs, CILA, SMHRFs, and other facilities licensed under the MC/DD Act will be increased to $60/month.
- Community based addiction services agencies and certified community mental health centers will receive rate increases.
- Medicaid rates for supportive living facilities and SMHRFs increase 2.8%.
- General State Aid to schools for FY 2018 must be based on the evidence-based funding model proposed in Senate Bill 1, which is being held in the Senate on a Motion to Reconsider. The Governor has vowed to veto the bill, and the bill did not pass with a veto proof majority in either house. In other words, there is currently $0 General State Aid authorized for FY 2018 at this time.
As for other bills that were passed out of the legislature and are sitting on the Governor’s desk including SB84 which creates a task force to look at federal funding for home and community based services, the Governor has yet to act on these items.
Governor Shakes Up Staff
The Governor’s Office since July 10 has seen immense change. Governor Rauner fired his chief of staff, Richard Goldberg, with Illinois Policy Institute CEO, Kristina Rasmussen, which then followed a mix of announcement about others leaving voluntarily or not. Changes included deputy chief of staff, communications, body man and policy staff. Here is a quick summary. As I stated above, this impacts human services both because it is slowing down the FY18 budget implementation, but also because most of those who are being brought in are not familiar with human services and many are not from Illinois.