State and Federal Update

Quick update about this week’s Medicaid votes and Illinois special session.  For the latest news, please like us on Facebook  or follow up on Twitter as well. 

*Mark your calendar for Sept 6 Executive Forum in Lisle!  Registration is open for the annual Healthcare Conference!  Oct 3 Living with Autism Conference!


Your Advocacy Stopped Skinny Repeal 49-51!

Thank you to all the Advocates to called, emailed, posted personal stories and advocacy efforts to our Senators and all Senators and House members!  It is your voice that delayed vote after vote and ensure that 3 different bills went down!  Here is a summary of what happened early this morning.  We will take a breath but will need to keep being vigilant on Medicaid!

From Politico:
In a dramatic floor vote that unfolded after midnight, three Senate Republicans joined with all 48 Democrats to sink the GOP’s seven-year effort to repeal Obamacare. Sen. John McCain — who returned after a cancer diagnosis to give Republicans the vote they needed to begin debate at the start of this week — was the pivotal third GOP vote that killed the bill. McCain’s no vote was met with audible gasps from colleagues inside the chamber.  Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) also voted against the plan.

“Watch the show,” McCain told reporters as he was heading into the chamber. The unexpected turn of events capped at bizarre day that involved several Republicans only agreeing to vote for the “skinny repeal” after receiving assurances from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that the House wouldn’t pass the bill and instead would go to conference. “I do my job as a senator,” McCain said after he left the Senate chamber, saying he voted against the Obamacare repeal bill “because I thought it was the right vote.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reacts: “Yes, this is a disappointment. A disappointment indeed,” he said after the vote failed around 1:40 a.m. Bres, Burgess, Jen and Seung Min with the play-by-play:


Illinois Special Session

We enter out third day of special session today.  Nothing is expected until Monday when Senate Majority Leader Cullerton has said he will forward SB 1 to the Governor.  Leader Cullerton has been asking for the Governor to host a meeting of leadership to talk through a compromise instead of having the Governor use his amendatory veto of the Chicago pension payment component of the bill.  Governor Rauner has been demanding they send the bill to him.

If/when Governor Rauner vetos segments of SB 1, lawmakers can agree with those changes (unlikely), let the measure die by not agreeing, or try to override the veto.  It is not clear if either house has enough support for SB 1 to override in the current form.  Remember in the budget bill, school funding was only to be released if a school reform bill is passed.  The pressure is on!  Here is an Springfield Journal Register article.

FY 18 Budget Implementation

We do have a budget for FY 18 which includes a wage increase and funding for DD grants.  However, implementation of the budget has been slow because it seems departments are waiting for direction and recommendations from the Governor’s Office on Management and Budget.  GOMB is waiting for directions from the new leadership in the Governor’s office.  Remember following the override of the budget veto, Governor Rauner fired numerous staff including his chief of staff.  Additionally other leadership has announced their resignations.  All the turnover has slowed the recommendations to GOMB, which in term has slowed their recommendations for implementation.

DHS is supposed to have a recommendation for implementation of the wage increase by 30 days after the budget passage which would be August 6.  The Arc is working with other coalition partners to get information about DHS’ thinking on the implementation.  We will let you know as soon as we hear something.

This stands also with the DD grants (TAP, Life Span, Epilepsy and Best Buddies among others).  We have not heard yet whether the Governor’s office will release the funds and/or when contracts will be created.  More on this next week!


Important Dates!

  • September 6 – Executive Forum, Lisle
  • September 14 – Healthcare Conference, Alsip
  • October 3 – Living with Autism Conference, Lisle
  • October 30-November 1 – Speak Up Speak Out, Springfield