Below is a press release from Governor Pat Quinn. It was issued the day after the election when a referendum failed about 2-1 to create a 377 Board to distribute $9 million of newly-levied property taxes in McHenry County.
I heard this story on the radio, but have not seen it in print. Considering the discussion prior to election day, I think its contents should be more widely know in McHenry County.
Talking to state officials I learned that this initiative is partially a result of a class action law suit won in which Woodstock’s Stanley Lelgas was the lead plaintiff. You can read the story here, but I’m going to republish the 2011 piece so those interested in the adequacy of service to the developmentally disabled can have the background close at hand.
Besides the court-ordered mandate to change the way that the State of Illinois treats the developmentally disabled, I certainly am willing to give Governor Quinn for continuing the efforts of former Pioneer Center Director Ann Patla, who served as Governor George Ryan’s Department Director for Mental Health and Developmentally Disabled. For the first time, she put more money into community services than into institutions. (You can find the current difference in cost in the press release below, not to mention the humane arguments for not having the developmentally disabled institutionalized.)
Governor Quinn Addresses “Going Home” Rally
Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative is Increasing Community Care and Reducing the Number of Outdated, Expensive Institutions
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Quinn today addressed the “Going Home” rally, hosted by several disability advocacy groups, and emphasized his commitment to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities and mental challenges in Illinois.
As part of his agenda to ensure all people have the opportunity to follow their dreams and reach their full potential, Governor Quinn launched his Rebalancing Initiative in 2011 to increase community care and reduce the number of outdated, expensive institutions.
In the last several years, the governor has closed two State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs), and increased community care options in Illinois which are proven to provide
- a higher quality
- more independent life
according to numerous studies. A third institution – the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center – is slated for closure later this year.
“This is a historic time for Illinois as we continue our commitment to change the status quo and improve life for people with disabilities and mental health challenges in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said.
“Moving from outdated institutions to community care is improving Illinois’ quality of care and allowing people to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.”
Hundreds of supporters and advocates gathered today in support of the governor’s Rebalancing Initiative.
Numerous studies show that individuals living in the community have a better quality of life than those living in large institutions.
Community settings allow individuals to receive the care they need, including 24-hour care.
In addition, community care is also significantly less costly than institution-based care.
The average cost for Murray Center is $239,000 per year per resident, while the average cost for a Murray resident living in the community while receiving the supports they need is estimated at $120,000 per year.
The governor’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget will move 1,150 individuals into community living, home-based services including 500 individuals off of the waiting list.
The Quinn Administration has developed a comprehensive, person-centered plan to transition residents safely into the community, ensuring that each individual’s new home meets their specific needs.
The plan is being implemented carefully and responsibly over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition for residents.
“We are working closely with families and guardians using a person-centered planning process to ensure safe transitions for residents of Murray Center,” Kevin Casey, director of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities said.
“We developed a comprehensive, well thought out plan to transition Murray residents safely into the community and ensure that each individual’s new home will meet their specific needs.”