Yesterday was a packed day in Springfield with so many bills that they had to hold two Senate Human Services hearings.  SB354, the long term care fund, was not heard in committee.

Three bills we are advocating for did move on:
SB2424 – Diversion from Facilities
SB3237 – OIG appeal rights for people with disabilities, families and providers
SB2427 – Expansion of dental care

This morning at 10 am in the Senate Labor Committee will be the hearing on SB201, Dignity in Pay Act, which would eliminate the subminimum wage and force DHS to make a plan to transition people.  You can submit a witness slip, here is the link.

As you know the Arc public policy committee and board spent a long time chewing on this bill because it is not perfect.  However, yesterday the board voted to support SB201.  We know it is missing a critical piece of the puzzle -funding and regulatory reform in order to ensure people can have access to robust employment options and supports in the community and providers can begin innovating their programs.  Eleven thousand people with disabilities are in sheltered work/subminimum wage currently.  We must ensure that a change like this makes people’s lives better by providing them with exciting new opportunities.  We also will fight to ensure that people with diverse abilities and support needs will be able to participate in the workforce, not just those who have less need for support.  Despite these concerns, the Arc board, which is made up of individuals with disabilities, parents, family members and providers/ISCs, determined that it is time as a state we move towards equality in pay for all people.

The Arc is committed to advocate for the funding and regulatory reform needed to make this shift work.  We hope you will fight with us.  Here is our testimony.

You can submit a witness slip, here is the link.

Meg Cooch Signature

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