State Senator Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) joined his Senate Republican colleagues this week in demanding that Governor Pritzker reverse course on a plan to significantly reduce service hours for Illinois adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) who live in group homes. Governor Pritzker and his Administration’s Department of Human Services have proposed cutting service hours by 2.5 million in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2025 budget.
“These alarming cuts would affect about 10,000 of our most vulnerable citizens who rely on their state government for assistance,” said DeWitte. “This equates to an approximate $87.7 million cut in state funding for this population of residents. It’s appalling.”
In a letter dated January 17 to Governor Pritzker, Republican Senators pointed out that the cuts equate to a nearly 10% drop in service hours for the ID/D population in group homes at a time when the Governor is channeling hundreds of millions of dollars toward services for noncitizens. Per the letter, “It’s very difficult to ignore that you’ve increased funding for noncitizens by over a billion dollars across the board, seemingly while your Administration is pushing this rate cut for the developmentally disabled. It’s obvious your priorities are not with the citizens of this state who are the most underserved.”
In a bipartisan effort, legislators from both sides of the aisle successfully advocated for a $2.50 per hour wage increase for Direct Support Professionals in the FY2024 budget, and this proposed decrease in service hour funding more than wipes that additional budget funding away.
“My office has been inundated with calls and emails from family members who fear for their loved ones’ ability to access service hours they need,” said DeWitte. “Every lawmaker in Springfield should be outraged over this. We all need to work together and ensure these cuts do not happen.”
You can read the Senate Republicans’ letter here.