SPRINGFIELD- Following is the joint statement of Access Living and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in response to the breaking news that the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted unanimously to delay the adoption of Rauner administration rules to cut overtime for providers caring for people with disabilities in the Home Services Program. The administration initially had attempted to rush the rules, revealing them with fewer than four business days available for public review:
“The unanimous decision by the General Assembly’s administrative committee today to delay the adoption of Bruce Rauner’s overtime changes to home healthcare for people with disabilities is a welcome victory in the struggle to preserve independence and control for consumers. The last-minute maneuvering by the administration, publishing rules that represent fundamental and disturbing modifications to the program less than four working days before a hearing, was an insult to stakeholders who have been shut out from the process time and again.
“The delay should give members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules a chance to review the serious concerns raised about the latest Rauner cuts, which continue to leave thousands of people with disabilities in the lurch, introduce new hardships on consumers, contain unacceptable penalties for caregivers and consumers, violate providers’ collective bargaining agreement as well as numerous state and federal laws, and continue to leave consumers at risk for costly forced institutionalization.
“With today’s JCAR decision, the Rauner administration itself has the opportunity to strike out a new path when it comes to the overtime care for people with disabilities that honors their dignity and the dignity of the workers who care for them. We urge the administration to listen to the concerns of the stakeholders in this highly successful program and to never again treat them with such shabby disregard.”