Community, Organizations

IARF: Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Celebrates 2023 Illinois Budget

Josh Evans, President and CEO of IARF
Josh Evans, President and CEO of IARF.

Springfield, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF), representing community-based providers serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and serious mental illnesses, today issued the following statement after Illinois lawmakers approved supplemental funding for the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget: 

“As the 102nd General Assembly ends, we celebrate the important accomplishments we have made with the Legislature and Gov. Pritzker to provide more state funding of services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illnesses, after decades of underfunding. The supplemental spending plan, which now heads to the Governor’s desk for approval, includes $30 million in Medicaid funding for community mental health providers. This one-time funding will be used to provide directed payments to providers of crucial mental health services, including those providing crisis care.   

This latest legislative action underscores the continuing need for more progress ahead, including more permanent funding increases for both behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disability community providers.  After publication of the I/DD Guidehouse Rate Study in late 2020, legislators have shown renewed resolve to fund I/DD services and programs. That includes $12.5 million in new supplemental funding passed today to address acute workforce shortages our providers are facing, and hundreds of millions of dollars included in the last two state budgets. 

But we must continue to do better.  

We requested $56 million this week to meet our critical needs to compete for workers and manage costs due to the pandemic. The Guidehouse study has called for $329.5 million in investments into the I/DD system, but we’ve not achieved this investment for the past two years. At a time when the state is investing in our Rainy Day Fund, emergency payments to hospitals, emergency housing, and more, we need more funding to help those who too often have been left behind.  

We need a systemic approach to our I/DD system that recognizes the serious care concerns that have been reported in our state developmental centers, and the needs our community providers have for funding to help serve more people and help them live the productive lives they deserve.  

Our mission in the 103rd General Assembly will be to work with our leaders to make additional I/DD funding one of the great accomplishments that make us all proud to call Illinois our home.”