Illinois GOP Defeats Wage Increase for Direct Support Professionals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Republican state representatives stood firm with Gov. Rauner today and defeated an attempt to override his veto of a bill calling for a wage increase for workers who care for people with developmental disabilities.
Ed McManus, a consultant representing many of the state’s disability provider agencies, criticized the legislators shortly after the vote.
“What a shame that our representatives chose to turn their backs to the needs of our vulnerable citizens,” McManus said. “Nearly 30,000 Illinois residents with disabilities rely heavily on these workers to care for them day and night, but our state is unwilling to guarantee a living wage to them. Rates to provider agencies have not been increased in almost a decade, while the cost of living has gone up and up. Agencies are experiencing extreme workforce shortages. Illinois’ spending for developmental disabilities services is 42nd in the nation.
“When the governor vetoed the bill in August, he said it would cost too much money and the state had ‘no available funding’ to pay for it, but that’s because neither Rauner nor the legislature has been willing to compromise on a budget for the past 16 months. It’s a disgrace that the state has no budget, and it has impacted hundreds of thousands of citizens in addition to these people with disabilities and their workers. We should all rise up and demand that our politicians put aside politics and break the budget impasse without further delay.”
Today’s vote was to override the veto of a bill directing the Dept. of Human Services to increase rates to providers to enable them to pay workers $15 an hour. No Republicans supported the override, which required 71 votes in the House, three-fifths of the membership. The Democrats have exactly 71 members, but five of them were absent and two, although present, did not vote.
McManus Consulting, based in Wilmette, was established in 2011 by Ed McManus, who formerly worked as an attorney and an administrator for the IL Dept. of Human Services for 17 years, and before that as an editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune in Chicago and Springfield. The practice has provided consultation to a total of 56 disability provider agencies over the past five years.