Illinois Special Session
As you know, Illinois is more than 700 days without a budget. Moodys and others have moved Illinois and some of our key institutions to junk bond status because of the debt and lack of budget. This week Governor Rauner called a special session of the Legislature for June 21 to June 30.
There does seem to be a building of pressure to get a budget agreement with the federal courts finding that Illinois needs to start paying down its $2 billion backlog of Medicaid provider payments and have a compromise plan for this by June 20 and no K through 12 education funding bill passed for the new fiscal year starting in July.
The Republican House Leadership on Wednesday released a blueprint of a budget cap on spending. We have not yet seen a spending plan. An analysis of the new Republican budget/reform plan can be read by clicking here.
What You Can Do:
- Continue to talk with your state legislators (click here to find them) to demand a responsible budget now!
- Tell them to protect people with disabilities in the process by
- supporting a wage increase for direct support workers AND
- fully fund the DD grants including TAP, Life Span and Best Buddies.
Below is a statement that the They Deserve More Campaign released yesterday in response to the Republican outline:
“Agencies that support people with disabilities are deeply disappointed with the Republican state budget blueprint. By offering only a 50-cents-an-hour increase for disability caregivers (DSPs) who are paid poverty wages and haven’t had a raise in almost a decade, the Republican proposal—like the Democratic Senate Bill 6—falls far short of what disability service providers urgently need and the people they care for deserve.
The Republican plan also fails to mention any new revenue measures needed to support its proposed spending. The FY 18 budget must include adequate revenue increases to reverse the state’s neglect of social services and meet its obligations.
For people with disabilities and their families who rely on community agencies, the lack of a budget is no longer a problem, it’s a catastrophe. Community homes are closing, hundreds of caregiver positions are going unfilled, and nearly 20,000 children and adults with disabilities are stuck on a waiting list with no services.
We urge state legislators and the governor to come together on a plan that provides a living wage for those who care for children and adults with disabilities.”