Department of Human Services (IDHS) director responds to reports. In the wake of an investigative-report series published by the Chicago Tribune that uncovered serious problems in some Illinois group homes for the developmentally disabled (DD) population, the General Assembly convened a joint committee to hold a hearing on the issue. More than 1,300 cases of abuse and neglect were uncovered by the series of news stories. Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13, the committee heard from agency Director James Dimas, who described work being done by him and his top aides to understand the size of the scandal and improve enforcement of living conditions in Illinois DD group homes.
IDHS is required, under law, to supervise 3,000 licensed private-sector DD group homes throughout Illinois. These homes shelter approximately 12,000 persons with intellectual and developmental challenges, often in an extended-family setting. The treatment provided to persons in this category ranges from thoughtful, high-quality care to abuse and neglect. In some cases, DD group home caregivers are overwhelmed by the challenges of taking care of persons with two or more separately diagnosed disabilities.
A major finding by the Tribune was that many of the cases of abuse and neglect that had taken place since July 2011 had been flagged in some way or another by IDHS oversight, but that many of the investigative files on these cases had been hidden, concealed, or even legally sealed. A key pledge made by Director Dimas this week was that the Department will create a new infrastructure of electronic transparency to increase access to information on the standing of each group home. The transparency infrastructure will include an Internet-based public report card to detail the status of many State investigations based upon allegations of abuse and neglect. The report cards will include evaluations of many Illinois DD group homes. In another pledge, Director Dimas stated that Illinois group homes for adults with disabilities will face stricter standards for establishing and maintaining licensure.
On Wednesday, the Transform Illinois coalition held its 2nd Annual Awards Ceremony at the Metropolitan Planning Council in downtown Chicago.
Transformer Awards were given to lawmakers and citizens who have furthered the goals of the coalition by streamlining local government.
This year’s awards were presented to Sen. Tom Cullerton (D- Villa Park), Rep. Tom Demmer (R- Dixon), the Village of Algonquin, and former Board President of the Century Hill Street Lighting District Tom Cieslak.
The luncheon also featured a keynote presentation from Dr. Chris Berry of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Dr. Berry’s keynote traced the path that Illinois took to become the state with the highest number of local governments in the nation.
Illinois lawmakers are treating the state’s Road Fund as a piggy bank. The solution? A constitutional amendment that would protect your tax dollars and prohibit politicians from tapping into our state’s vital Road Fund.
Every year, vehicle owners in Illinois are forced to pay $101 (+ “Processing Fees”) for their annual vehicle registration. Politicians promise that this money will go toward maintaining the state’s roads and bridges.
And every time vehicle owners in Illinois fill up their gas tank, they are hit with a motor fuel use tax. Politicians promise that this money will go toward maintaining the state’s roads and bridges.
But politicians are not telling the truth. Instead, they are breaking their promise and are raiding the fund that houses these user fees and sweeping these dollars for other non-transportation related programs in state government.
Shouldn’t infrastructure dollars go towards our state’s ailing infrastructure? This election, VOTE YES on the first question on the ballot and let’s hold politicians accountable to your tax dollars.
Please share the Businesses for Safe Roads website with your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to VOTE YES ON THE FIRST QUESTION ON THE BALLOT. The more informed voters Illinois has, the more we are able to keep Springfield accountable with our money.
“Lawmakers have failed to provide community banks with the relief they need in order to support Main Street businesses and best serve consumers,” said Tom Quaadman, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness. “In order to break the cycle of anemic growth, low productivity, and lack of labor participation, Congress must make it a priority to ensure these institutions have access to the capital and tools they need to support local businesses.”
Kane County is set to unveil a program aimed at advancing the development of minority businesses and business entrepreneurs.
The concept is similar to the successful Kane County Export Grant Program in that it piggybacks on another program in order to provide additional incentives for Kane County businesses to apply.
In this case, the Kane County incentive would pay for loan closing costs and fees up to $2,500 for any local business that applies for and wins funding from the state of Illinois’ new Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship program.
Under that program, just announced by Gov. Bruce Rauner, up to 15 minority/women-owned startup or small businesses in the Chicago region — including Kane County — will be selected by the state to receive training and mentorship as well as access to capital in the form of loans. The ADME selection process emphasizes the business’s potential to create jobs.
The aim of Kane County’s program, which was brought up in resolution form at the Sept. 16 Kane County Board Jobs Committee meeting, is the same as ADME: to strengthen start-up and small businesses by tapping into the potential of underrepresented communities, including African-American, Latino, Asian-American, women, and veteran entrepreneurs.
The ADME application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016.
If the resolution is passed on Oct. 6 by the County Board Executive Committee and approved by the full County Board, any Kane County resident who is accepted into ADME will be eligible for a supplemental grant of up to $2,500, paid for via Kane County Economic Development funds.
Find more information on the ADME program, visit the ADME Illinois website.
For more information on the Kane County program, contact Chris Toth, Kane County Development & Community Services Department, at email@example.com or 630-232-3491.
Four years ago, according to the Pew Center on the States (2012) one in four eligible citizens were not registered to vote for the General Election. That is an astounding estimate of 51 million U.S. citizens.
Citizens who register and vote in elections have a unique opportunity to shape local, state, and federal governments. The candidates we elect to office will directly impact our region’s and our country’s policy agenda. Whether a policy maker’s decisions are large or small, your decisions on Election Day determine the direction we go. Make sure you’re registered so you can have a say.
Next week, Sept. 26-30, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is joining with other organizations – and most importantly our members, to support Voter Registration Week.
If you are not already registered to vote or if you need to update your information on file with your voter registration, this is a great time to do so. Take time to visit the voter registration page on http://www.illinoisprosperity.org/languages/english/ezvote.asp?g=illinois . Once you’re there, simply enter your ZIP code and complete the voter registration process.
While you’re on the website, be sure to check out the candidates on your ballot, other pertinent election issues important to our nation and our state. Everything you need to become an informed voter has been provided.
Don’t be silent during this election. If you are already registered to vote, take time to make sure your voter registration information, such as your home address, is accurate and up-to-date.
Your vote counts, but you can’t vote if you aren’t registered.