More news from Springfield today, and action to take!

Below is an update on the Illinois Budget and activities in Springfield from Access Living’s Director of Advocacy, Amber Smock.

Dear Access Living Friends and Allies,

First, we are pleased to let you know that Senate Bill 1547 passed unanimously out of the Senate and should now be sent on to the House for review. This is the bill that protects tenants from being evicted when they are perceived as calling the police “too often.” This can include people with mental illness and victims of domestic violence. We expect that this bill will do well in the House. Good job housing advocates.

Second, we need your help to push back against the $26 million in cuts made to disability, immigration, homeless, burial and many other programs on Good Friday. These cuts are shuttering many good, effective programs. Senator Dan Kotowski filed Bill 274 , which passed unanimously through the Senate yesterday, and is now in the House. We want to ask that you contact your State Representative at this link to ask them to say YES to Senate Bill 274.

Third, five new sponsors signed onto House Resolution 344 yesterday, to show that they are opposed to changing the Determination of Need (DON) score from 29 to 37. We expect to have news for you soon about a Senate version. Senate Bill 2129 and House Bill 4203 continue to pick up sponsors; these bills call for full funding for the Home Services Program, Centers for Independent Living and the Community Reintegration Program. Great stuff.

Fourth, Access Living will be joining the AARP of Illinois this morning at a press conference in Springfield to help stand against the $140 million in cuts being made to the Community Care Program. Seniors, home health agencies, and homemakers are up in arms against this cut, which could affect up to about 39,000 seniors in Illinois. Part of the cut would happen through changing the DON score, and part would happen by imposing an income limit of $18,885 per year.

Thank you to each and every one of you taking action thus far. Your every email and phone call really does count. Our Governor and our legislators need to know that bad budget cuts will have negative consequences for people with disabilities of all ages. Let’s go Illinois!

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living