Dear Access Living friends and allies,
This morning's action alert is about the Home Services Program (HSP) and it is quite urgent. Yesterday, Senator Kimberly Lightford, a home services supporter, filed Senate Bill 261 (officially known as SB 261 SFA 1). This bill would give people with disabilities in HSP the official right to manage their own personal attendants, with no cap on the hours for the workers. The hours would still need to be managed within the person with the disability's service plan, but it would help give the flexibility people need in managing their personal care services.
There are two important things that we ask advocates to do:
This morning, before 9 am Central, please file a witness slip at this link for SB 261. It will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee and it is important that they know that people support this bill. By filing a witness slip, you are letting the Senate know that the public is watching. In filling out the witness slip, be sure to mark that you are a "proponent." If you are not actually attending the hearing in Springfield (400 Capitol), mark "record of appearance only." Individuals can put that they are representing themselves, or "self."
Second, please let your Illinois Senator know how important SB 261 is. You can easily use this link to send a quick email .
In addition, we also call upon advocates to support the efforts of HSP providers, or personal attendants to secure a basic wage of $15 an hour. This past spring, the legislature passed SB 2931, which would have raised wages to $15 an hour, but the Governor vetoed it. Advocates are asking our legislators to override the veto; in order to help, please click on this link to send a quick message to your Illinois Senators and Representatives.
We also expect it is highly likely that TODAY the Illinois legislature will call the Community Care Protection Bill (DON score bill) for an override vote, as well as the Direct Support Provider wage bill. You can remind legislators how important these bills are by sending them messages through this link for Community Care and this link for the Direct Support Provider bill.
It's a busy week in Springfield folks!
Director of Advocacy, Access Living