Overtime rule could add to service crisis

Posted5/9/2016 1:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor may finalize a Rule soon that may lead to service cuts for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities and further exacerbate the workforce crisis facing community-based service providers in Illinois.

Last July, the DOL published a Proposed Rule that would increase the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. While IARF strongly advocates for a living wage for staff working in our member agencies, we are concerned that mandates such as these have unintended consequences for service providers funded almost exclusively through contracts with the State of Illinois -- the only state in the nation that currently lacks a current budget and already has contracts out to many of these providers for which it is providing no payment.

An analysis by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) -- a national organization of disability service providers and state associations, projects implementing the mandate would add over $1 billion in costs for providers across the nation.

Actions are needed to ensure a final rule does not create unintended consequences for services and supports in Illinois.

First, IARF is calling on the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to provide states a temporary increase in Medicaid funding to support service providers in complying with the rule and other unfunded mandates.

Second, we call on the governor and the General Assembly to negotiate an end to the current budget impasse that provides revenues necessary to fully fund services, supports, and contracts with service providers and ensures revenue to address the workforce crisis providers are experiencing moving forward.

Carl M. La Mell President of Clearbrook

Chairperson for the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities

Arlington Heights

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