Illinois Has A Budget!

By now, you've heard the big news - Illinois has a budget!

On July 7, the General Assembly voted to override the Governor’s veto of its $36.1 billion FY 2018 State budget package. The dramatic, bipartisan votes in the House and Senate brought to an end the historic budget impasse that has roiled the state since June 2015 and caused an estimated 1 million people to lose services.

Facing a downgrade of the State’s credit rating to junk status, as well as internal pressures within their caucuses, Democratic and Republican lawmakers finally took a stand to put an end to the 24 month long fight between Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan.

The Illinois FY 2018 budget includes:

  • $0.75/hr DSP wage increase
  • $60 a month Personal Needs Allowance for people with disabilities
  • $2.5 billion in spending cuts, including 5 percent across-the-board reductions to most state agencies and a 10 percent cut to higher education
  • $8 billion to pay bill backlog
  • Pension changes long-sought by Rauner to create a defined-contribution 401(k)-style retirement plan to compete with the defined-benefit pension plans currently offered to state employees
  • Income tax rate increase from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, which is expected to generate roughly $4.3 billion
  • Corporate income tax rate increase from 5.25 percent to 7 percent, which is expected to bring in another $460 million

For Search, solving the DSP workforce crisis remains our most critical priority.

The $0.75/hr DSP wage increase provided in the FY 2018 budget represents a significant first step in solving the DSP workforce crisis.  However, with Chicago and Cook County set to raise the minimum wage $1/hour each year for the next four years, it is imperative that all advocacy efforts continue to focus on additional rate increases to achieve a living wage for DSPs.  Until a full living wage is supported by DHS rates, historic staff vacancy and turnover rates for disability service providers in Illinois will likely continue.

In the absence of DHS rate increases to support a living wage for DSPs, each additional $1 hike in the minimum wage represents nearly a half million dollars in new wage and benefit expense.  While the $0.75/hr increase is a start, it needs to the be first of many increases so that Search is able to keep pace with planned minimum wage increases.

Call to Action: Show Support to Legislators on the Budget!
     
We can’t forget to thank those legislators who voted to pass a state budget (one that included a wage increase for DSPs and targeted rate increases) and then to override the Governor’s veto of that budget.  Please reach out to legislators who voted for the budget and the override to convey your thanks and support!

Click here for a list of legislators who voted yes on the budget legislation (the green higlights represent Republicans).

In addition to contacting your own legislator, feel free to reach out and thank the legislators representating areas where Search has services and programs!


Search, Inc. Illinois House Representatives

Illinois House Representatives who serve the districts where Search provides programs and services:

Melissa Conyears

D- 10th

P: 217-782-8077

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gregory Harris

D- 13th

P: 217-782-3835

F: 217-557-6470

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robyn Gabel

D- 18th

P: 217-782-8052

F: 217-558-4553

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Martin Moylan

D- 55th

P: 217-782-8007

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Elaine Nekritz

D- 57th

P: 217-558-1004

F: 217-558-4554

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Carol Sente

D- 59th

P: 217-782-0499

F: 217-524-0443

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lou Lang

D- 16th

P: 217- 782-1252

F: 217-782-9903

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laura Fine

D- 17th

P: 217-782-4194

F: 217-524-0449

E:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

David Harris

D- 53rd

P: 217-782-3739

F: 217-782-1141

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kelly Cassidy

D- 14th

P: 217-782-8088

F: 217-782-6592

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robert Martwick

D- 19th

P: 217-782-8400

F: 217-557-1934

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

John D'Amico

D- 15th

P: 217-892-8198

F:217-782-2906

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Search, Inc. Illinois Senate Representatives
Illinois Senate Representatives who serve the districts where Search provides programs and services:

Patricia Van Pelt

 

D- 5th

P: 217-782-6252

Heather Steans

 

D- 7th

P: 217-782-8492

F: 217-782-1631

Daniel Biss

 

D- 9th

P: 217-782-2119

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Laura Murphy

 

 

D- 28th

P: 217-782-3875

F: 217-558-6006

 

Julie Morrison

 

D- 29th

P: 217-782-3650

 

Terry Link

D- 30th

P: 217-782-8181

F: 217-782-4450

Ira Silverstein

 

D- 8th

P: 217-782-550

F: 217-782-5340

John Mulroe

 

D- 10th

P: 217-782-1035

F: 217-782-2331