SB3508 EngrossedLRB100 20857 RLC 36354 b

1    AN ACT concerning care for persons with developmental
2disabilities, which may be referred to as the Community
3Disability Living Wage Act.
4    WHEREAS, An estimated 27,000 children and adults with
5intellectual and developmental disabilities are supported in
6community-based settings in Illinois; direct support persons
7(DSPs), are trained paraprofessional staff that are engaged in
8activities of daily living and community support; too many of
9these employees earn wages that place them and their families
10below the poverty level; and
11    WHEREAS, According to the most recent Illinois industry
12surveys, the average DSP wage in Illinois is $10.59 per hour
13which is below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
14poverty threshold of $12.07 for a family of 4 and one out of
15every four DSP jobs in provider agencies are going unfilled;
16low wages often compel DSPs to work many overtime hours or hold
17down a second job to support their families; research by the
18American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR),
19inclusive of Illinois, reveals 56% of DSPs rely on public
20assistance to make ends meet, creating additional expenditures
21for State government; low wages are a consequence of the
22historically low reimbursement rates paid by the State of
23Illinois to community-based service providers; a 75 cent wage
24increase last year raised rates paid these agencies by 5% or
25less, the only increase in State funding in 10 years; the



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1Consumer Price Index increased 18% over the same period; and
2    WHEREAS, The lack of adequate wages for employees who
3perform the challenging work of supporting persons with
4intellectual and developmental disabilities results in high
5employee turnover, which in turn negatively impacts the quality
6of services provided, as described in the recent Chicago
7Tribune series; higher wages are proven to reduce staff
8turnover, improving stability and quality of services while
9reducing employer training costs; and
10    WHEREAS, Rising wages in several other sectors now mean,
11despite the 75 cent increase and strenuous efforts to recruit
12new workers, agencies are experiencing staff vacancy rates of
13up to 40%; excessive vacancies force employers to rely more on
14overtime, leading to staff burnout and driving up costs; for
15the second year in a row, the federal court monitor documented
16how this growing hiring crisis impedes the ability of community
17disability agencies to expand to accommodate persons newly
18approved for services as part of the Ligas Consent Decree; and
19    WHEREAS, The General Assembly finds that in order to reduce
20turnover, increase retention, fill vacancies, and ensure DSPs
21are adequately compensated for the critically important work
22they do, an increase in rates and reimbursements to
23community-based service providers to effectuate an increase in



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1the hourly wage paid to DSPs is needed; and
2    WHEREAS, It is the purpose of this amendatory Act to
3increase the wages of DSPs in community disability agencies
4beyond the poverty level and to a level competitive with rival
5employers, in an effort to improve the lives of DSPs and the
6lives of the vulnerable persons they support; therefore
7    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
8represented in the General Assembly:
9    Section 5. The Mental Health and Developmental
10Disabilities Administrative Act is amended by adding Section
1155.5 as follows:
12    (20 ILCS 1705/55.5 new)
13    Sec. 55.5. Increased wages for front-line personnel. As
14used in this Section, "front-line personnel" means direct
15support persons, aides, front-line supervisors, qualified
16intellectual disabilities professionals, nurses, and
17non-administrative support staff working in service settings
18outlined in this Section. The Department shall establish
19reimbursement rates that build toward livable wages for
20front-line personnel in residential and day programs and
21service coordination agencies serving persons with
22intellectual and developmental disabilities under Section 54



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1of this Act, including, but not limited to, intermediate care
2for the developmentally disabled facilities, medically complex
3for the developmentally disabled facilities,
4community-integrated living arrangements, community day
5services, employment, and other residential and day programs
6for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities
7supported by State funds or funding under Title XIX of the
8federal Social Security Act. The Department shall increase
9rates and reimbursements so that by July 1, 2018 direct support
10persons earn a base wage of not less than $13.50 per hour and
11so that other front-line personnel earn a commensurate wage,
12and by July 1, 2020, direct support persons earn a base wage of
13not less than $15 per hour and so that other front-line
14personnel earn a commensurate wage.
15    Section 10. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
16adding Section 5-5.4j as follows:
17    (305 ILCS 5/5-5.4j new)
18    Sec. 5-5.4j. Increased wages for front-line personnel. As
19used in this Section, "front-line personnel" means direct
20support persons, aides, front-line supervisors, qualified
21intellectual disabilities professionals, nurses, and
22non-administrative support staff working in service settings
23outlined in this Section. Under Section 55.5 of the Mental
24Health and Developmental Disabilities Administrative Act, the



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1payment rate for all facilities licensed by the Department of
2Public Health under the ID/DD Community Care Act as
3intermediate care for the developmentally disabled facilities
4and under the MC/DD Act as medically complex for the
5developmentally disabled facilities shall be increased to fund
6rates and reimbursements so that by July 1, 2018 direct support
7persons earn a wage of not less than $13.50 per hour and so
8that other front-line personnel earn a commensurate wage, and
9by July 1, 2020, direct support persons earn a base wage of not
10less than $15 per hour and so that other front-line personnel
11earn a commensurate wage.
12    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
13becoming law.