1000s In Crosshairs as DHS Punitive Policy Advances
Chicago – A new 60-second radio ad featuring a Chicagoan with a disability who is served by the DHS Home Services Program exposes the real-life consequences of Governor Bruce Rauner’s dangerous cuts to overtime care.
The new ad, which began airing Tuesday, October 17, features Jennifer Kostanski, who lost use of her limbs 14 years ago in a spinal injury suffered in a car accident.
The caregiver on whom Jennifer relies now faces suspension for working hours above the new overtime caps put in place by the Rauner administration; hours of care that Kostanski needs to live safely at home.
Nearly 1,000 caregivers have received similar disciplinary notices resulting from the strict cap put in place in August and all are on track for suspensions.
“I’m paralyzed from the chest down. I can’t imagine that I’d have any quality of life without my home care worker. I consider Melissa a godsend; she is my hands. I don’t see why Bruce Rauner is doing this,” Kostanski says in the ad.
Listen to the new ad, titled “Blink” here, which is airing in the Chicago and Springfield markets.
Terri Harkin, a vice president with SEIU Healthcare Illinois, said:
“Jennifer’s story is a prime example of the dire consequences facing people with severe disabilities directly because of Governor Rauner’s strict overtime policy. The governor is threatening to take away trusted, dedicated caregivers from the people who need them most. We hope Gov. Rauner will hear Jennifer’s plea, change course and remove the threat of suspension to caregivers resulting from his illegally implemented policy.”