The Arc of Illinois Weekly Update

MEDICAID ACTION ALERT: Hopefully you already saw the action alert that went out this morning around the two week recess for Congress – to call, email, attend town halls, stop by your legislators district offices and get on social media for #WeActWednesdays.  Here is an updated link to the script for calling offices.  The town halls for Rep Hultgren and Shimkus are especially important to attend!

Lots of excitement this week.  Highlights in this update include:

  • Registration for the Arc Convention & the Going Home Rally
  • Executive Forum Webinar on State and Federal Legislative Advocacy
  • Workers Wages (SB 955) Advocacy post card – please share
  • State Budget FY17 and FY18 Advocacy
  • Job Posting for LARC CEO
  • Resources & Upcoming Events



The Arc Convention Registration is Open!
April 26-27, Hilton Lisle!

The Arc Convention brings together more than 300 advocates, families, and service providers for two days of networking, learning and sharing and connection.  This year we have some amazing presenters including keynotes, Jeff Hobbs and Patti Vasquez and almost 15 other learning opportunities.  Here is the convention brochure.  Click here to register!



Register Now for the Going Home Rally
May 24, Springfield

The Going Home Coalition, formed to focus on individuals moving out of institutions and into community living is hold its annual rally, May 24.  This year the focus is on what community living means to us.  We will also be highlighting the need for more support for community services and wages in order to ensure people can have access to the services and supports they need and want.

There will be a press conference around 10 am and a rally in the state capital rotunda at 11 am.  Attendees will then meet with legislators.  Click here for the registration and brochure.



Executive Forum Webinar Links

Thanks so much to all those who joined the Executive Forum Webinar on Tuesday.  Here is the link if you would like to listen.  We heard from Nicole Jorwic, Rights Policy Director for the Arc of the US, regarding federal legislation including AHCA, budget, 1115 waiver and the HCBS regs.  Phil Milsk, the Arc of Il lobbyist, also shared where we were with the state budget and other relevant bills including the DPS wage bill, a criminal justice and IDD bill and a number of CILA bills.  Check it out here.

Regarding two follow up questions:  HB1353 does not include SODCs and the Flower’s CILA bill that amends licensing for CILAs from 3 to 1 years and includes a reference to establishing that staffing levels are adequate based on the acuity of those individuals in the home is here, HB 2857.



Higher Wages Mean More Choice for People
Send Post Cards to Support DSP Wage Increase

The Coalition advocating to pass SB955, the increase in direct support professional wages to $15 has put together a terrific post card for all those who care about this issue.

The ridiculously low wages for direct support professionals have resulted in individuals with disabilities seeing huge turnover of their workers, less staffing that needed at their homes and a limiting of community living services and supports because there are so many vacant positions.  We must increase wages for workers who are the corner stone to ensure that folks can get out of bed, go to work, and participate in the larger community life.

Help by printing out and signing this post card (blank to tell your story or with specific SB955 message) and sending it to the Governor to ask him to sign this bill when it moves out of the legislature.



House Passes Stopgap Budget for FY17
FY18 Hearing April 20 in Chicago

The House approved a $815 million dollars stopgap budget for FY17 along party lines (64-45) through HB 109 Amendment 1.  It moves to the Senate, but the Governor and the Republicans generally are opposed saying that this gets in the way of a comprehensive budget.  However, the recent Moodys report that suggested that if there was no FY17 budget reached, Illinois would be further downgraded, might put additional pressure on getting something passed.  Among many other things, this budget includes funding for DHS/DD grants that remain unfunded including Lifespan, Autism, Epilepsy and Best Buddies.  Call your Senators to support this bill!

Here is what the Tribune and Springfield Journal Register are saying.

House Appropriations – Human Services Committee Hearing on FY18 Budget will be April 20 at 1:30 pm at C-600, 6th Floor Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago.  There will be an opportunity for advocates to speak.  If you are interested in testifying to the impact of the lack of the budget on critical services, access to community living, DSP wages or family support, please call Meg at 815-464-1832 and ask for Meg.


Have You Taken the FINDS Survey Yet?

Now more than ever, we need to capture the experiences of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  Please fill out this survey TODAY to help us get a picture of the struggles and opportunities facing Illinoisans with IDD and their families.

To take the survey, visit

The Arc of the United States is gathering this data in collaboration with the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota


LARC CEO Job Posting

Congratulations to Lora Hurling on her retirement in May.  Here is the job posting for the LARC CEO job.  They are looking to start interviews soon, so do not delay!



Important Dates!

  • April 26-27 – Arc Convention, Lisle
  • May 24 – Going Home Rally, Springfield
  • June 5 – Board of Directors Visioning Session
  • June 7 – Executive Forum, In-Person Meeting