Illinois advocates for people with disabilities are seeking to stop the Rauner administration's proposed overtime restrictions for Illinois home care providers.
Members of Chicago ADAPT, Access Living and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois spoke out Tuesday morning before a meeting of the Illinois Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).
At issue is the Rauner administration's overtime policy that capped weekly working hours at 40 hours for personal assistants in Illinois Home Services Program. The program connects people with disabilities to in-home personal attendants.
The Illinois Department of Human Services began enforcing the overtime policy in May, but suspended it in August shortly before disability advocates were about to file a class-action lawsuit against the regulations.
After suspending the policy, the Rauner administration announced it would use the rule-making process to implement the overtime regulations.
JCAR must approve the proposal. Disability advocacy groups and workers are urging the panel's members to "oppose Bruce Rauner's dangerous overtime policy," according to a statement from the disability rights group Access Living.
Here's more from Access Living:
The state began enforcing the overtime policy in May, but later suspended the regulations. The policy was halted last month just before a class-action lawsuit was going to be filed by the disability advocacy group ADAPT.
After months of mounting pressure from stakeholders and a pending class-action lawsuit, the State of Illinois announced plans to rescind their disastrous overtime policy on August 2, 2016. This move prevented the termination of as many as 2,200 personal assistants who provided home care services to people with disabilities in every corner of Illinois.
But instead of coming to the table to negotiate with those impacted to find a solution that protects the health and safety of people with disabilities, the State has shut out stakeholders and submitted the misguided policy through the official rules-making process, with additional language that seeks to further strip consumer control in the program.
Going forward, opponents of the overtime policy plan to set up meetings with JCAR members and submit written comments against the proposal, according to Access Living. They also want the state to hold hearings on the overtime plan.
*The SEIU Illinois Council sponsors this website.