image of group of people standing and in chairs on steps of capitol in Springfield with fists raised
Photo of staff from Progress Center and staff from Access Living in Springfield in May of 2018

Governor Pritzker’s 2019 Budget Address

Advocacy staff from Progress Center for Independent Living will be in Springfield on February 20, 2019 for Governor JB Pritzker’s first Budget Address as the governor of Illinois. “I look forward to hearing the address and hearing about budget line items,” said Larry Biondi, Progress Center’s Advocacy Coordinator.  “We hope that the governor will financially support programs that expand resources for people with disabilities to live in inclusive, integrated community settings.”

During his term in office, Governor Rauner introduced policy that threatened the independence of people with disabilities who utilize personal assistants through the Illinois Home Services Program.  The policy limited the number of hours a personal assistant could work for one person with a disability, and limited the number of hours a personal assistant could work during the week. As a result, some people with disabilities were forced to search, sometime unsuccessfully, for new personal assistants.  Personal assistants are a key link to independence for thousands of people with disabilities. Without them, many people with disabilities would end up in nursing homes.

“We spent much of Governor Rauner’s term in office fighting to protect people with disabilities against institutionalization,” said Clark Craig, a community organizer with Progress Center.  “With the new administration, we hope for policy that will protect our right to live the community, not policy against which we have to protect ourselves.”  Both Biondi and Craig will be in Springfield on February 20.  They will speak with legislators about:

  • Funding for Centers for Independent Living
  • Ending Sub-Minimum Wage for People with Disabilities
  • Ensuring people who receive Medicaid can access community-based services
  • Legislation for supports early education for children who are Deaf

As a Center for Independent Living, Progress Center provides services and conducts advocacy that supports the independence of people with disabilities.  Progress Center serves Suburban Cook County. Progress Center is one of 22 Centers for Independent Living in Illinois.  For more information, contact 708-209-1500.