December 29, 2017
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois House of Representatives,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto House Bill 1424 from the 100th General Assembly, which would reduce the ability of the State to assess and serve Illinois’ elderly and persons with disabilities. This bill is similar to several pieces of legislation that have been discussed and debated over the last few years. This debate comes at a critical time, as Illinois’ aging population, ages 60 and over, is expected to increase by 57% from 2000 - 2030.
This bill prohibits the Department on Aging from implementing a new program, the Community Reinvestment Program (CRP), which aims to provide the non-Medicaid population of the Community Care Program (CCP) with federally mandated person-centered planning and community-based options. By limiting current services in statute, this bill prevents individual care coordinators from working with their clients on a case-by-case basis to meet the needs necessary for them to remain in their homes. Instead, they will receive only the services which have been available since the program’s inception, well over 30 years ago. While our current service delivery model is crucial to maintaining seniors in their homes and communities, this bill prohibits the department from implementing a more flexible array of service options.
The Department on Aging’s Community Care Program Services Task Force is currently working with advocates, providers, and legislators on a bipartisan plan to develop proactive solutions to serve this rapidly growing vulnerable population. They are tasked with reviewing current CCP services, and recommending solutions to reduce costs while simultaneously retaining our high quality of care. If HB 1424 were to become law, the work of this task force could be negatively impacted.
The bill also sets subjective restrictions on the implementation of the new Universal Assessment Tool (UAT) that is set to replace the outdated Determination of Need (DON) eligibility tool. Created to be objective and truly evaluate the needs of an elderly resident, this bill restricts the Department’s ability to implement the Universal Assessment Tool by guaranteeing eligibility for community-based services for current CCP participants regardless of whether they qualify for services under the UAT. This will limit our ability to receive federal matching funds and potentially put our federal waiver at risk.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 1424, entitled AN ACT concerning public aid”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.