This is a busy week in Springfield!  

Support Sexual Health, Sexual Safety Education
Call your legislators to support HB 3299, which requires access to sexual health, sexual education and sexual safety training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in CILAs, ICFDDs and SODCs. Here is a fact sheet from the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission (GAC) HB3299 Fact sheet.pdf.  Please help take action by sending your Illinois State Senator an email at this link.

Call to Support Wage Increase to Address Staffing Crisis
Yesterday, members of the They Deserve More coalition met state representatives in Springfield and delivered postcards to Governor JB Pritzker‘s office — urging them to support people with disabilities and their caregivers by providing DSPs a living wage. #TheyDeserveMore.  Tell YOUR state legislators to support people with disabilities and thepeople who serve them:

In addition to visits from advocates, this week Senate Appropriations Committee heard about both the need to increase wages for direct support professionals and the need for increases in rates for 5% increase for services through the I/DD system. A huge thanks to all those who called or slipped last week in support of this effort.

The Arc Supports the Fair Tax – Legislators need to hear from US!
We urge you to call 888-412-6570 right now to tell your State Representative you support a Fair Tax! Each day we come closer to a vote on the Fair Tax.  Call now: 888-412-6570. You will be asked to enter your zip code and then will be connected with your representatives’ offices. You can say the following when you are connected (or leave a message as follows):

  • I am calling to let the Representative know we need a Fair Tax now.
  • I am a resident of the Representative’s district and I support a Fair Tax. A Fair Tax will raise $3 billion of for schools and other public services that our community needs.
  • 97% of people in Illinois will pay the same or lower taxes – all while making sure the wealthy start to pay their fair share.
  • I urge the Representative to VOTE YES on Fair Tax.

Wednesday, HR 214, the resolution that directs the Auditor General to conduct a management audit of the Department of Human Services’ process for selecting Independent Service Coordination agencies for the Fiscal Year commencing July 1, 2019, was voted out of committee 14-0.  Here is the link to the bill.

Today Ligas was back in court.  Both sides were pleased with the latest status and steps that are being taken by the state to address issues.  The two concerns lifted up were around the fact that they were waiting on the budget process to see if substantial progress will be made about wages and the issues that the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) ruled that DHS would have to go through the regular process to hire a outside rates consultant, a process that could take 6 months or more.  DHS had been advocating that since this was related to ongoing litigation, they could expedite the process.  Judge Coleman indicated she felt 6 months was too long and therefore called the state attorneys to work with CPO to revisit her decision or come before the court to explain it.  The next status update in court will be June 11 at 2 pm to discuss the outcome of the budget process and impact on the implementation plan.

Rep. Wehrli’s task force addresses wages for DSPs
DuPage Policy Journal, 5.03.19
State Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) rallied members of his Developmentally Disabled Task Force around a bill that would increase wages for those who work with individuals with disabilities during a recent second-quarter meeting.

We heard this week both from the Governor’s Office and Rep Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) regarding different strategies to a capital bill.  There was debate about a bill focused on “horizontal projects” such as roads, bridges or a “vertical bill” that the Governor wants that is more inclusive.  Clearly there is still much discussion to be had over a very short period of time.