Take steps to support Illinois Home Services during Veto Session

On Tuesday, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30, Access Living Representatives will be in Springfield Illinois for the Veto Session. A variety of legislation will be considered by Illinois Politicians, legislation that would have a significant impact on the independence and security of people with disabilities. Your help is needed to support the legislation. Below is a recent Action Alert from Access Living’s Director of Advocacy with a number of specific steps you can take to voice your support for people with disabilities.

Action Alert:

This week, the Illinois legislature returns to Springfield for the second half of veto session. Some highlights and action alerts, as well as a Federal level action alert, are as follows:

SB 261

On Tuesday November 29 at 1:30 pm in C-1 Stratton in Springfield, the House Appropriations-Human Services Committee will hear Senate Bill 261, among other bills. SB 261 was introduced and passed by the Senate earlier this month. The purpose of the bill is to affirm consumer control in the Illinois Home Services Program (HSP), ensuring that HSP customers can manage their own personal attendants without caps on the hours worked by the personal attendants (also known as home care workers). This is within the limits of the HSP customer's established home services plan.

There are two things you can do to help. The first is to let members of the Illinois House know that you want them to support SB 261. To send a message to your State Representative, please use this link .

The second is to let the members of the House Appropriations-Human Services Committee know that you care about SB 261. You can do this by filing a witness slip at this link . This is an electronic way to show your position on a bill. For SB 261, you go to the link, fill out your contact information and then also say who you represent. If you represent an organization, you put the organization name. If you are representing yourself as an individual, you can put "self" or "citizen." Be sure to mark the box for "proponent" (this means you support SB 261). Finally, check the box "record of appearance only" as you are filing your position only through the slip. Please ask your friends and relatives to help. The deadline to so this is at 1:30 pm on Tuesday November 29.

SB 261 could go for a full vote in the House as early as this week. If it passes the House, it will then be the Governor's duty to decide whether to sign it.

Wage Increase

We also are supporting a wage increase for HSP personal attendants, in order to help reduce turnover and promote sustainability in the program. Help advocate for $15 an hour for HSP personal attendants by contacting the House using this easy link , to ask them to override the Governor's veto of SB 2931.

Hearing on Oversight of Group Homes

On Wednesday November 30 at 9 am in 400 Capitol, there will be another important hearing on disability issues. The Senate Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on the State's oversight of group homes, also known as Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs). The Chicago Tribune recently published a series of investigative articles looking into deaths and abuse at group homes across the state. Their latest editorial on the topic is at this link . Access Living will be on hand to listen. We hope the outcome of the hearing will be a strengthened resolve for better oversight and investment in community based services for people with developmental disabilities.

Thanks for your support