Don’t Miss! May 3 DSP Shortage: Know Your Options.  It is free for families and CEUs are offered for professionals.
Click here for the full brochureClick here to register online

State Legislative Session

Thanks also to all those who have spoken up, sent witness slips, call their legislators this session.  It has been a busy one and it isn’t over.

With the deadline this week, there are a number of bills that moved this week out of their respective houses.

  • SB2424 – Diversion from Facilities
  • SB3237 – OIG appeal rights for people with disabilities, families and providers
  • SB3504 – Wage increase for DSPs (See below the list and call to action)
  • SB 3041 and HB 5163 – Expansion of DD boards
  • SB2427 – Expansion of dental care
  • HB4736 – Exempting from managed care Medically Fragile Technology Dependent kids

SB201 – Dignity in Pay Act – Although Senator Biss on Wednesday and the Labor Committee discussed the bill, Senator Biss decided not to call the bill because it did not have enough votes to move out of committee.  As I mentioned earlier this week, the Arc of Illinois board, working with the public policy committee, decided to support the bill in principle.  We continue to be committed to work with both proponents and opponents to talk about how Illinois needs to build capacity in the community system to help people get jobs and have a meaningful day.  Here is our testimony that we submitted on Wednesday.  I appreciate all those who have reached out to me to let me know your position on the bill.  I look forward to talking with you further to move this issue forward in a productive way that best supports people with I/DD with all abilities.

Monday, April 30, the House Human Services Appropriation Committee is holding a hearing on Medicaid and the IT roll out.  The Arc’s Shirley Perez will be testifying about both her personal experience with these issues and the concerns that many individuals, parents and providers have also expressed.  More families are recommended to speak – if you have families – let me know!

Here is a message from the They Deserve More Campaign – the vote was 40-9.  Here was the roll call so you can check your legislator.  We encourage you to THANK your legislator if they supported the bill.

With a bipartisan vote of 40-9, the Illinois Senate today passed our bill, SB 3508! This legislation to support people with disabilities by paying their DSPs a living wage can now move to the Illinois House.

Your voice made a difference! Legislators heard about this issue from providers, DSPs, people with disabilities and their families and friends throughout the state. The They Deserve More Coalition would like to thank you for taking quick action when we called and supporting people with disabilities in Illinois.

But, our fight is not over. Please stay tuned for further calls to action as our bill makes its way through the Illinois House. We’ll let you know as soon as the next opportunity arises to make your voice heard.

You can always stay up-to-date on the They Deserve More campaign and take action by visiting our website, liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter.

Thanks for all your advocacy!


Meg Cooch Signature

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