The annual State of the States Report is ready. If you look at the state scorecard link, Illinois sadly remains near the bottom at 47. There doesn’t appear to be any discussion in Springfield about how to get our rating to a place that reflects the great state we are.
A great article on the interaction of learning/developmental disabilities and the criminal justice system. We at SU have supported people though such issues. We can have an incredible impact on a person’s life by helping them stay out of jail or prison and become independent, self-supporting tax-payers. If you’re a state faced with difficult funding decisions based on lack of resources, this makes financial sense. The cost of monitoring, prosecuting and incarcerating a person is a lot higher than collecting taxes from that same person if they get the supports to be successful. When you under-fund a community system, you end up spending more on the last-resort options like institutions for people with disabilities or prisons.
And this doesn’t begin to touch the issues on the mental health side of this.
A nice article in the Chicago Tribune (summary here not blocked by a paywall). SU is fortunate that the state has notified us that we will eventually get paid for the services provided as of July 1, though there is no guarantee of the rate we will be paid or when the money will arrive. We have plans in place to ride out the budget stalemate in Springfield, at least for a couple of months. The lack of increases (and cuts as well) over the years are catching up with us now though…we’re hitting our limits in terms of keeping up with rising costs like insurance and other bills as well as paying our employees a decent wage.