Illinois state funding to help intellectual and developmental disabilities services

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 5:34 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Transitions of Western Illinois said the increased state funding they’ll be receiving has been needed for a long time.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s FY 2023 budget gives a $94.8 million increase to programs such as Transitions. The state is investing a total of $170 million into mental and behavioral health services for the 2023 fiscal year.

The extra money will take more people off the waiting list.

“They’re talking about 700 additional people being selected, so that is great news. Now, there’s thousands, several thousands of people on the waitlist,” said Michelle Obert, developmental disabilities coordinator.

Obert said the waitlist for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to use their services is extremely long.

“Right now the waitlist is about five years, and that is better. It used to be seven and eight,” Obert said.

It will also provide a one dollar an hour wage increase for employees because many programs are struggling to hire workers.

“Agencies like ours have had difficulty keeping staff due to the low rates, and steps like this are going to help us,” said Executive Director Mark Schwartz.

Still, Schmitz said up until last year, IDD programs had not been getting adequate money from the state.

“The last two years, we are moving in the right direction to play catch up. We are not there yet. It’s part of the reason why the state repeatedly for not having adequate rates to support the types of services that people with disabilities need in our state,” Schmitz said.

Transitions recommends if you have a child with intellectual or developmental disabilities in high school to get them on their waiting list now.

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