VILLA PARK -- State Senator Tom Cullerton's initiative to help nearly 20,000 Illinois families on waiting lists for developmental disability services was signed into law today.
House Bill 6086, sponsored by Cullerton in the Senate, will require the state to take certain factors into consideration when determining which individuals will receive services, such as the amount of time spent already on a waiting list.
"Any time we can pass legislation to help our developmentally disabled population, it makes us a stronger and better state," said Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat.
House Bill 6086 is an initiative of Autism Speaks. The organization approached Cullerton for assistance because of the difficulty that families face when they spend a significant amount of time on the state's Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS) waiting list to receive services for developmentally disabled family members.
"I would like to thank Senator Tom Cullerton and Gov. Rauner for being supportive of House Bill 6086," said Mike Baker, volunteer state advocacy chairman for Autism Speaks. "I hope that it will be the first of many steps to expand and improve services for people with autism and all developmental disabilities in Illinois."
PUNS is a statewide database with information about individuals with developmental disabilities who seek state services. The database does not function as a first-come, first-served service; enrollments are categorized by need, and families with immediate needs are served first.
House Bill 6086 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.