Governor JB Pritzker unveiled his budget officially earlier today. He talked about the need to rethink spending priorities, address basic revenue issues and fulfill obligations around consent decrees. He said that he didn’t want to hollow out vital social services but wants to move away from programs that don’t work. He mentioned an infrastructure bill before the end of the session, a focus on minority owned businesses and downstate revitalization. Not surprisingly, he spoke about the need for a progressive income tax, a “fair tax”, as well as sports betting, cannabis, managed care organization assessments and e-cigarette/cigarette taxes as forms of revenue.
If you want to do a deeper dive: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/budget/Pages/default.aspx
What we see:
- $107.4 million to address mid-year minimum wage changes in programs including Addiction Treatment, Child Care, Developmental Disabilities, Home Services and other community services. At the DHS/HFS budget overview, we heard from Secretary Dimas that this is a starting point and that they are leaving it up to the legislators to determine a break down and/or add additional dollars.
- $31.3 million increase to support nearly 700 new placements for developmentally disabled individuals transitioning to less restrictive or community home settings under the Ligas consent decree. This would be the funding that would be used for the people who received pre-selection letters already.
- Funding for 70 people to move from ICFDDs to waiver services (we are still unsure if this is SODC residents or other ICFDD residents).
- $103.2 million increase in the Home Services Program to recognize caseload growth ($23.2 million) and underfunding in fiscal year 2019 ($80 million).
- DD grants were funded at the current rates. This includes Life Span, The Autism Program, Epilepsy, Best Buddies and Respite.
Other comments that came at the DHS/HFS etc updates:
HFS – Theresa Eagleson
- Looking at partnering with DHS to reduce eligibility determination delays and re-determination delays
- It is a maintenance budget
- Increase revenue through MCO Assessments, cigarette and e-cigarette taxes
DHS – Jim Dimas
FY2020 – investing in community capacity, ensure they can fully support programs that provide critical services, reduce Medicaid backlog especially in LTC,
- Comment on increases to DHS providers for the minimum wage increase
- Ligas consent decree – 650-700 new people receiving services off the PUNs waiting list
- Money for 70 new people to move from ICF/DD to waiver services
- 6.3% increase in DHS overall budget ($54.5 increase)
- 900 new customers through Home Services
- Realignment of transition services from Home Services to Centers for Independent Living to make changes to respond to 5th core objective of WIOA
- Increase in $28M total
- Early intervention – participate rate increase $7M
Slides are supposed to be available soon on the websites.
One more thing – they mentioned that the respite grant notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is expected to be released in the next two weeks. We would encourage families to make sure that providers locally are looking at applying for the respite dollars so that families have opportunities around the state to access respite.