This is a huge week to raise your voice as people with disabilities, families and community organizations in Springfield.  We have two more weeks until the committee deadline where bills will have to be voted out of committee in order to move forward this legislative session.  As advocates, we need to make calls to legislators and slip bills that you support or oppose.

Three bills we are supporting have moved out of committee and are on second reading: HB 3299, Sex Education for Individuals with I/DD, (Representative Will Davis), and HB 2987, Protection of Individuals with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System Task Force Act, (Representative Rob Martwick).  SB 111, Dental Sedation Bill is voted out of the Senate and moves to the House.

Although there are many bills that will move the next two weeks, this year, the Senate has created a Medicaid subcommittee/workgroup where all bills impacting healthcare.  They will be costing out and holding onto many bills until closer to the end of session when the budget will be discussed.  This includes SB2021, the Protect Our Care Coalition efforts around improving medicaid re-determination.  In addition, there is Subcommittee on Special Issues set up to move all bills that are expected to have a significant fiscal impact.  Many of these ordinarily would move to the Human Services Committee but are being redirected and a fiscal impact estimated before they move into this subcommittee.  It is an effort to coordinate and think broadly about the bills that the Senate will move with budget impact.  Senator Steans is leading this effort.  Our bill SB2086, around non-Medicaid Certified Homes will potentially wind up in this subcommittee among other bills. In addition, right now SB2055, which deals with PUNs transparency, communication and update also is being held there.

Please file witness slips in support for:
Senate Human Services Committee

  • SB 2087 (Fine) – customized employment (there is a potential that it will be on the accepted bill list because DRS is in support and willing to find the funding to start the pilot).  Click here to slip

Wednesday – House Human Services Committee, 8:30 am

Tomorrow, Representative Mah is holding a press conference around HB3340, the Dignity in Pay Act.  On Wednesday, in the House Labor Committee, a subject matter hearing on the issue is expected.  Click here to slip in support.  We are hoping that at least one Arc leader will be able to present on their experiences.

Thursday – Human Services Appropriations potentially might have:
HB 2815 Personal Needs Allowance (for persons with developmental disabilities living in CILAs), Representative Terra Costa Howard. Click here to support.

You can help by submitting witness slips on key bills being heard in committee. For those who are presenting only their own personal opinion and not for an organization, you can put that you are representing “self.” In the section called “Position” please check “Proponent,” which means you support the bill. In the section called “Testimony,” check “Record of Appearance Only” to show that you are supporting from online. The list of witnesses for and against the bill will be read at the hearing.