IARF: New State Budget Fails Disability Funding


This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

SPRINGFIELD — Details are emerging this morning about the proposed state budget for next year, and one advocacy group says it’s just not enough.

The IL Association of Rehabilitation Facilities represents those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The group has issued a statement this morning calling a proposed increase in state funding a failure because it doesn’t come close to the amount suggested by a state-sanctioned study last year.

Read the full statement here:

The Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, representing community providers of services and programs for thousands of Illinoisans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, today issued the following statement as lawmakers prepare to vote on a Fiscal Year 2022 state budget and adjourn the spring legislative session:

"Our mantra this spring has been clear: we must do better on funding I/DD services in Illinois. The proposed state budget legislators have put together does not meet that standard.

A federal decree requires Illinois to do better, by providing better funding for services, staff wages, and reducing wait lists for services. The Guidehouse rate study commissioned by the Department of Human Services and released late last year made clear it will take a significant investment starting this coming fiscal year to make real progress.

The Governor’s proposed funding increase of $122 million – the amount that is included in the budget being considered today – is simply not nearly enough to meet the tremendous needs of the people we serve. This budget does not:

  • Fully fund the rate study, nor an agreement among our service providers and the labor unions representing their workers to increase state support
  • Support 28,000 individuals currently receiving services and more than 17,000 on the state waiting list for services
  • Fully fund a single priority in the rate study, including wage increases for staff. In Chicago, frontline staff will barely make above the city’s increased minimum wage
  • Spend a dime of the state’s $8 billion in federal relief funds on I/DD services and supports

Other critical, core government services and programs are receiving large budget increases and amounts, including K-12 education, hospitals and nursing homes. But this budget ignores the stark reality that Illinois ranks 47th in spending on disability services.

Our ask today is simple: amend the proposed state budget to provide a full $193 million to fully fund the rate study starting Jan. 1, 2022. We must do better, before it’s too late."

Josh Evans

IARF President & CEO


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via Springfield, IL Patch

May 31, 2021 at 11:54AM

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