Happy Friday!  This week included a productive meeting with Senator Steans yesterday to advocate on our legislative and budget issues and continued meetings with Arc chapters.  Below is the state and federal update as well as upcoming trainings and resources:


Senate Compromise?

Next week we will be watching the Senate to see whether the effort to negotiate a 13 bill revenue package that could include tax increases, approval of new casinos and a two year property tax freeze among other things, can pass out of the Senate.  If this package of bills move forward, it would clear the way for the passage of a FY2018 budget.  Crossing our fingers for compromise to continue as the Senate comes back to Springfield on Tuesday.

DD Budget Proposal Review

Here is the recording of the Arc/Executive Forum webinar this week with Gary Kramer and Reta Hoskin from the Division of Developmental Disabilities, reviewing key questions about the Governor’s proposed budget.  Check out this link if you missed the webinar.

Ligas Monitoring

Last week the parties came together for another meeting with the judge around the Ligas Consent Decree.  The state is expected to respond to the court monitor’s report this week and the Judge set up a special status conference to discuss next Friday March 3 for further discussion about state compliance with the decree.

DSP Wage Bill to be Heard Next Week in Human Services

Look for SB955 to be heard in the Senate Human Services Committee on Thursday morning tentatively.  I will send a link to be able to slip support for the bill next week.


Support Medicaid and the ACA

Check out this link for a great webinar done by the Arc of the US laying out the importance of Medicaid and the ACA to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the policies that the House is considering making related to Medicaid.  Here is the powerpoint associated with the webinar.  They also have a toolkit for more background information.

Supreme Court Found for Students with Disabilities

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a very important case for students with disabilities, Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools (see summary at this link). The case involved a girl with cerebral palsy named Ehlena Fry and her service dog Wonder. Ehlena’s school would not allow Wonder to accompany her to classes. Ehlena’s family filed suit based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to allow Wonder to go with Ehlena to school, and for monetary damages. Many well known disability rights advocates filed amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs in support of Ehlena, and it was argued by disability rights attorney Sam Bagenstos, who is also known for his leadership on Olmstead rights. The Supreme Court decided in favor of Ehlena and Wonder; this is important in upholding the rights of students with disabilities under the ADA and the Rehab Act, not just the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).



Don’t Miss March 7th Supporting Each Other to Discover Our Best Work

Arc Training at the Double Tree in Alsip.  Register here!

Person-Centered Practice Forums
The DDD Statewide Quality Committee is hosting forums across Illinois that will share information, strategies and resources to support community agencies to better understand and integrate person-centered practices throughout their organization. Flyer here.  Speakers include:
Director Greg Fenton
Jayma Bernhard Page
Kim Zoeller, Ray Graham Association
Patty Walters, Developmental Services Center
Trina Sieling, Trinity Services,
A self advocate
Forum activities will be interactive and designed around agency team participation, including staff representation from key positions such as CEO, Program Director, QIDP and DSP. Agencies should register a team of three to five members that must include a CEO. Each forum will be limited to 50 participants to encourage interactive learning and discussion.

Dates & Locations
Monday, March 6, 2017 1:00 – 4:30 PM
KCCDD (Provider Agency); 2015 Windish Drive, Galesburg

Thursday, March 16, 2017 1:00 – 4:30 PM
John A Logan College, Main Campus Meeting Room F119, Building F;
700 Logan College Road, Carterville

Monday, April 3, 2017 1:00- 4:30 PM
Park Lawn (Provider Agency); 10833 South LaPorte, Oak Lawn

Meg Cooch
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)