Today the Governor signed the minimum wage bill, increasing the minimum wage for most people to $15 by 2025.  We continue to advocate to ensure that the administration ensures that the staff crisis is also addressed by raising DSP wages ideally at least $5 higher than the minimum wage.  For more information, check out

Today the Governor announced the appointment of Grace Hou as the new Secretary of the Department of Human Services starting in mid March.  Here is her bio:

Grace Hou will serve as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).* Hou is currently the president of Woods Fund Chicago, a grant-making foundation that funds organizations that draw on the power of communities to fight the brutality of poverty and structural racism. From 2003 to 2012, she served as the Assistant Secretary at the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) where she was responsible for the oversight of the agency’s six program areas. During that time, she was a key leader in the creation and implementation of the state’s nationally acclaimed Immigrant Integration New American’s Executive Order. Hou previously served as executive director of Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) and has been a vocal advocate for immigrant rights. She received her Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois Springfield and her Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Our full bill summary of all the bills related to people with disabilities will be posted later this week or early next but you can submit a witness slip for SB1214 – ensures that people are trained every 3 years to know how to draw blood from children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Our friend Mike Baker is leading the charge on this.  It will be heard later today in Public Health.

What is a witness slip: A witness slip registers your support or opposition for a bill.  Here is a very nice summary from Senator Heather Steans office about witness slips.  If you want to advocate further, you can submit testimony in person or email the chair person’s office with testimony referring to the committee and bill number.


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