as shared by Access Living (cil) in Chicago
Dear Access Living friends and allies,
Advocates around the state are continuing to work very hard on state-level budget issues, in preparation for the state legislative hearings which will begin within a couple of weeks. I wanted to share some important information for disability advocates concerned about independent living. Be sure to scroll to the end for the action alert!
Last week, the Illinois Department of Human Services shared further detail about the Governor’s proposed plan for the current Fiscal Year 15 shortfall and the upcoming Fiscal Year 16 budget. There are MANY cuts proposed to many programs for people with disabilities, but in this email I wanted to highlight the following programs that are specific to Centers for Independent Living (CILs). Remember, Illinois has 22 CILs, and Access Living is one. The programs at risk of elimination or reduction that I want to highlight are:
There is a different budget item for CILs that is basically about $2 million for general operating funds, which is shared among the CILs according to a set formula. The FY 16 budget preserves this money, but the problem is the CILs need ALL their programs protected. CILs will find themselves less able to effectively help people with disabilities live in the community. Plus, many other programs, such as mental health programs or HIV/AIDS programs or developmental disabilities programs, are also being cut.
Remember, INDEPENDENT LIVING is a CIVIL RIGHT! The Olmstead Supreme Court decision in 1999 made it extremely clear that people with disabilities should not be housed in institutions and nursing facilities against their will. Just because the Governor’s budget proposal is scary, we cannot simply roll over. We have to stick up for ourselves! Will you help?
You can help fight for Centers for Independent Living by taking action at this link.
Director of Advocacy, Access Living