Today Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his State of the State address making specific mention of how the budget impasse has negatively impacted the ability of human service organizations to provide critical services and supports, and gave accolades to members of the Illinois Senate for their work towards a bipartisan compromise on the state budget.
While we applaud the Governor for his continued call for continued bipartisan budget discussions, what was missing from today’s speech was clear direction on how the administration plans to address the issues of accountability, transparency, and workforce needs outlined in the recent Chicago Tribune investigative series, namely the Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce crisis disrupting the lives of thousands of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and straining hundreds of service providers’ ability to meet basic health and safety needs.
The governor didn’t outline his plans for financing the health and human services transformation, particularly the need to comprehensively address rates and reimbursements for Medicaid mental health services to ensure there is an adequate workforce to meet the needs of over 100,000 low-income individuals with serious mental illnesses in crisis. We hope the governor’s FY18 budget address next month will speak directly to these core systems issues.
Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities will continue to proactively develop and advance solutions that address accountability, transparency, workforce, and funding issues this legislative session. We will equally partner with the Administration and champions in the legislature on comprehensive behavioral health policy and financing reforms.
Janet Stover, President & CEO
Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities