Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5931
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Full Text of HB5931  99th General Assembly




HB5931 EnrolledLRB099 18949 RLC 43338 b

1    AN ACT concerning care for persons with a 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; these
9employees earn wages that place them and their families below
10the poverty level; and
11    WHEREAS, According to a recent industry salary survey, the
12average DSP wage in Illinois is $9.35 per hour which is 25%
13below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty
14threshold of $11.66 for a family of 4; this workforce is often
15compelled to work many overtime hours or hold down a second job
16to support their families; many have to fall back on public
17benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps, creating additional
18expenditures for State government; low wages are a consequence
19of the historically low reimbursement rates paid by the State
20of Illinois to community-based service providers; over the last
218 fiscal years, there has been no increase in State funding to
22these agencies; by contrast, the Consumer Price Index increased
2314% over the same period; and
24    WHEREAS, The lack of adequate wages for employees who



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1perform the challenging work of supporting persons with
2intellectual and developmental disabilities results in high
3employee turnover, which in turn negatively impacts the quality
4of services provided; higher wages are proven to reduce staff
5turnover, improving stability and quality of services while
6reducing employer training costs; and
7    WHEREAS, Rising wages in several other sectors now mean,
8despite strenuous efforts to recruit new workers, agencies are
9experiencing staff vacancy rates of up to 25%; excessive
10vacancies force employers to rely more on overtime, leading to
11staff burnout and driving up costs; this growing hiring crisis
12impedes the ability of community disability agencies to expand
13to accommodate persons newly approved for services as part of
14the Ligas Consent Decree; and
15    WHEREAS, The General Assembly finds that in order to reduce
16turnover, increase retention, fill vacancies, and ensure DSPs
17are adequately compensated for the critically important work
18they do, an increase in rates and reimbursements to
19community-based service providers to effectuate an increase in
20the hourly wage paid to DSPs is needed; and
21    WHEREAS, It is the purpose of this amendatory Act to
22increase the wages of DSPs in community disability agencies
23beyond the poverty level and to a level competitive with rival



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1employers, in an effort to improve the lives of DSPs and the
2lives of the vulnerable persons they support; therefore
3    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
4represented in the General Assembly:
5    Section 5. The Mental Health and Developmental
6Disabilities Administrative Act is amended by adding Section
755.5 as follows:
8    (20 ILCS 1705/55.5 new)
9    Sec. 55.5. Increased wages for front line personnel. The
10Department shall establish reimbursement rates which build
11toward livable wages for front line personnel in residential
12and day programs serving persons with intellectual and
13developmental disabilities under Section 54 of this Act,
14including, but not limited to, intermediate care facilities for
15persons with developmental disabilities, community-integrated
16living arrangements, developmental training programs,
17employment, and other residential and day programs for persons
18with intellectual and developmental disabilities supported by
19State funds or funding under Title XIX of the federal Social
20Security Act.
21    As used in this Section, "front line personnel" means
22direct support persons, aides, front-line supervisors,
23qualified intellectual disabilities professionals, nurses, and



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1non-administrative support staff working in service settings
2outlined in this Section. The Department shall increase rates
3and reimbursements so that direct support persons earn a base
4wage of not less than $15 per hour and so that other front line
5personnel earn a commensurate wage.
6    Section 10. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
7adding Section 5-5.4i as follows:
8    (305 ILCS 5/5-5.4i new)
9    Sec. 5-5.4i. Increased wages for front line personnel. As
10used in this Section, "front line personnel" means direct
11support persons, aides, front-line supervisors, qualified
12intellectual disabilities professionals, nurses, and
13non-administrative support staff working in service settings
14outlined in this Section.
15    Under Section 55.5 of the Mental Health and Developmental
16Disabilities Administrative Act, the payment rate for all
17facilities licensed by the Department of Public Health under
18the ID/DD Community Care Act as intermediate care for the
19developmentally disabled facilities and under the MC/DD Act as
20medically complex for the developmentally disabled facilities
21shall be increased to fund rates and reimbursements so that
22direct support persons earn a base wage of not less than $15
23per hour and so that other front line personnel earn a
24commensurate wage.



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1    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2becoming law.