Here’s another article on the negative impact of the late state payments on community service providers. For the moment at SU we’ve had enough state payments to pay our employees, consumers and bills without having to borrow in order to do so. The state is sending notice that the last 1.8 month’s worth of payments will be moved from the fiscal year ending this June 30 to the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. We keep an open line of credit for these situations, but hate using money to pay interest that could be going towards services.
The annual State of the States report is out. There is an extraordinary amount of information available in it. If you go to the “State Profiles” you can see Illinois. The most encouraging fact on the sheet is the way that Illinois’ spending on state institutions has started going down. There’s still a long ways to go, but we like to find positives wherever we can. By far the saddest part of the Illinois profile is the drop in number of persons served in day/work and supported employment programs from 28,266 in 2009 to 20,167 in 2011. We remember that very painful time when the funding for our sheltered workshop and others was eliminated by the state.
Clicking over to the “create a chart” tab on the website, it gets a bit fun. You can click on the data you want to see and what you want to compare it to. Here’s the most basic of the charts, showing Illinois’ effort towards community-based services. Proud as we are of our state, it is sad to see us not being a leader, not even being middle of the pack, but lagging near the bottom. There are signs of hope, and when the report begins reflecting the gradual change in Illinois away from institutional care and towards community care, we will begin to shine as we support our citizens with developmental disabilities to lead fuller lives in their home communities.
Speaking of community support, thank you to the Knights of Columbus!
Here’s another article on the funding crisis for community services for adults with developmental disabilities. Families waiting for services is not a new thing. The statewide waiting list has actually gone down a little, thanks the the settlement of the Ligas lawsuit. It’s still over 15,000 people though. It’s still been many years of not just no increases, but of funding cuts. It’s also been years of very late payments. There are signs of hope, though. Two people at SU were selected from the waiting list to get funding for their services. This year’s state budget proposed by Governor Quinn had no cuts to community services in it. One state institution has closed and another is in the process of closing. SU’s been incredibly fortunate to be a part of a supportive community and to have such dedicated employees.
An article on the Illinois Department of Human Services talking about their funding needs. The challenge of meetings peoples’ needs with limited resource has been a recurring theme for recent years. We were thrilled to see the Division of Developmental Disabilities Director Kevin Casey talk about the need to help the people on the waiting list.