New Illinois Legislation Supports Quality Developmental Disability Services


A new bill would address the worsening workforce crisis for community care.

SB1600/HB3398 would fund an hourly $4 wage increase for Direct Support Personnel and include protections that ensure the dollars earmarked for wages are passed to all workers as an across-the-board wage increase.

On April 26, Local 73 members from the Jewish Federation of Chicago and Envision visited the Illinois Capitol to meet with elected officials about the urgent need to support quality developmental disability services.

Nearly 22,000 Illinoisans with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on DSPs to enhance their quality of life. The work of DSPs can be physically demanding and emotionally draining, yet the starting wage at many agencies and barely above minimum wage. While the state has made important investments in disability services over the past years, including funding DSP raises, community agencies are not required to pass the wage increase through to their workers.

DSP positions are currently unfilled, dedicated and experienced caregivers are being forced out, and waiting lists for services are growing. It’s time for Illinois to invest in disability services with strong accountability provisions.