One more day left in the legislative session then Legislators break for the summer to return for the fall session.
There was a lot of activity yesterday of interest to disability advocates. You can still respond to my legislative alert that I sent to you yesterday afternoon opposing the Anti Closure House Resolution 273!
Included in this update are:
Senate Passes DHS Budget
Going Home Statement on TRO for Murray Closure
No Warehousing Letter in Tribune
Arc Letter to Governor Quinn
The Senate passed the Dept. of Human Services budget last night so now it is on to the Governor. The budget funds rebalancing, moving people off the waiting list, back payments to providers, the closing of Murray Developmental Center and more.
Going Home Statement in Response to Federal Judge Issuing Temporary Restraining Order Preventing Residents from Transitioning into the Community and Out of State Institution
“Today’s ruling is disappointing and sends the wrong message about people with disabilities. While the judgment is temporary, it will continue to delay the integration into the community that hundreds of people with disabilities enjoy today. It is not acceptable to segregate people with disabilities by confining them to a state institution, in this case the Murray Developmental Center. We are confident that the judge will ultimately rule in favor of giving people with disabilities the opportunity to live in a neighborhood of choice.”
Going Home is an advocacy campaign dedicated to full inclusion and equality for people with disabilities. The group supports transitioning people from state institutions to a community of choice. Visit www.goinghomeillinois.org to meet people who have made successful transitions into he community and to learn more about the Going Home Campaign.
A few years ago, Gov. Pat Quinn committed to rebalancing Illinois’ long-term care system for people with disabilities. This commitment includes transitioning people with disabilities from large, segregated institutions into neighborhood settings where people with disabilities can engage in an integrated community. The next step in the process is the Murray Developmental Center, slated to close in October.
Institutions are inefficient, they are costly and they segregate members of our community. For too long, while other states have phased out segregation, Illinois has unnecessarily warehoused people in institutions. Illinois is ready to take the next step. With the Murray transition, every person, no matter the type or severity of the disability, will continue to receive the support he or she needs to be successful.
Murray residents are not fragile people who need to be sheltered away in order to be safe.
On the contrary, Murray residents, like all people with disabilities segregated in institutions (and like all residents of Illinois), need the opportunity to engage and thrive in integrated communities.
Closure of Murray offers that opportunity.
— Gary Arnold, Access Living, Chicago, Member of the Going Home Campaign
The Arc’s Letter to Governor Quinn
Dear Governor Quinn:
We had two minor setbacks in the closure of Murray today. Those setbacks should in no way impede your outstanding leadership in rebalancing the Illinois disability system. Please remember that your efforts are improving the lives of over 220,000 infants, children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Do not be dismayed by the actions of a few in our quest to promote freedom and opportunity for our people in Illinois.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423