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Institute Priorities

The Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities has been a trusted and leading voice in Illinois for ...

Il IDD 2019 Overview

The Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities serves as are source for legislators, state officials...

Ligas FAQ

The Ligas Consent Decree is the result of a lawsuit filed against the state of Illinois on behalf of people with...

What is the Ligas Consent Decree?
TheLigas Consent Decree is the result of a lawsuit filed against the state of Illinois on behalf of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities(I/DD) living in private ICFDDs who wanted to move into community residences(CILA) but the state would not fund them to do so.  During the course of the legal proceedings,the Intervenor class was established comprised of people living in ICFDDs that did not want to move and wanted to assure the continuation of that service option.  Rather than proceeding with trial, the state and parties agreed to a Consent Decree which outlined specific actions the state would take over a 6-year period which concluded on 6/15/17.  The Consent Decree requires continued court monitoring until at least 2022 to assure the state continues to meet its obligations to class members.  

Is Illinois inCompliance with the Ligas Consent Decree?
No
, the Court Monitor Has found Illinois out of compliance with the requirements of the Consent Decree in her past 2 annual reports and is likely to find the state again out of compliance in her forthcoming annual report, due in December 2018.  In response to the Monitor’s finding of noncompliance and the failure of the parties to reach agreement on addressing key issues leading to that finding, the Plaintiffs and Intervenors filed a Motion to Enforce earlier this year asking the federal judge to compel the state to provide the resources necessary to comply with the Consent Decree.  

 Key issues in dispute were:

The judge directed the state to develop a plan for addressing both issues and has held regular hearings to monitor progress.

Has the Ligas Consent Decree Ended?
No
; a single provision of the Consent Decree concluded on June 15, 2017, regarding current ICF DD residents having access to community residential placements in a timely manner.  Judge Coleman and the LigasCourt Monitor continue to have oversight authority for state activity through at least 2020, at which time the state may approach the court and attempt to demonstrate “substantial compliance” with the Consent Decree.  The Consent Decree requires that following June 15, 2017 “Waiting List Class Members shall receive appropriate community-based services and/or placement in appropriate community-based settings such that they move off the waiting list at a reasonable pace.”  The definition of “reasonable pace” remains under negotiation and requires agreement by all parties and the Monitor.  The state has agreed to provide community services to at least 632 people in FY18. Further and equally important, the Monitor retains court authority for assuring compliance with Consent Decree provisions, such as adequate investment in community services and quality monitoring for Ligas Class members.

What is the State Doing to Comply with the Court Order?
Thestate convened a Ligas Oversight Committee to provide input into a plan to overhaul the reimbursement formulas for CILA and ICFDD services.  6 subcommittees with broad stakeholder representation were established to make recommendations to the Oversight Committee in the following areas: Staffing; Nursing; Behavioral Health; Transportation;Day Services; Technology.  The Subcommittees report monthly to the Oversight Committee and have identified the following common themes to their set of recommendations:

  1. Rate methodologies must be unbundled to address individualized needs of people receiving services
  2. Past recommendations should be revisited by the state to adopt those that remain relevant
  3. The community system is in a fragile condition and immediate action is necessary assure the safety and security of people receiving services.

Have the Recent Wage Increases Addressed the Direct Support Workforce Crisis?
No
, the last 2 increases of $.75/hour and $.38/hour have been insufficient to stabilize the direct support workforce, which can commonly command between $12 and $15/hour in other industries across the state.  The Reimbursement rate of $11.96 for the average (not minimum) DSP wage is well below the average wage of Mental Health Technicians working in state developmental centers.  There, average hourly salaries range between $21.74 and $30.80/hour depending on the level (I– III).

Will the Judge Order the State to Increase Direct Support Staff Wages?
Judge Coleman has expressly stated that it is beyond her authority to compel the state to increase payment for community services, though she has described the recent wage increases as being “woefully short”.

Are Direct Support Wages the Only Financial Concern with I/DD Services?
No
; community agencies providing residential and day services to more than 26,000 people with I/DD across the state are essentially receiving the same reimbursement as they did 20 years ago with only slight increases to the wage line during that period.  Other operating costs, including nursing services, transportation, other agency personnel and insurance are grossly under-funded, contributing to Illinois’ ranking as 47th lowest in the nation in investment in community services for people with I/DD.

What Are the Legislative Solutions?
Pastlegislative efforts have focused on a one-time budget increase tied directly to direct support wages.  A key recommendation made by the Staffing subcommittee (chaired by the Institute CEO)of the Ligas Oversight Committee is that reimbursement rates for community services be indexed to a measure that will assure payment keeps pace with the cost of doing business.  Illinois already indexed payment for the Home-Based Services program to social security payments; adopting a similar approach for reimbursement for CILA and ICFD services is an important priority for the upcoming legislative session.

THE MISSION

BUILDING A CHURCH
COMMUNITY

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PEOPLE IN THE SERVICE

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Thomas Evelyn

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Daniel Mavick

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John Stonner

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Martin Lopez

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